08/03/2012 11:21 am ET Updated Oct 03, 2012

Renewing County Jail Millage Necessary to Protect Your Safety

It's no secret that Wayne County government faces a budget deficit and ongoing economic challenges with declining property values. However, now is not the time to decrease resources for public safety.

The safety of residents and visitors is my top priority, and it should be for every elected official in Wayne County.

In July, I respectfully called on the Wayne County Commission to approve a $101 million budget for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office (WCSO); not the $85 million budget that the CEO had presented.

The county jail population is averaging 2,100 inmates a day, a dramatic increase resulting from the rise in crime the last few years. We cannot fully secure the jails, protect the county parks and implement narcotics investigations with $16 million less annually.

Wayne County voters, I ask for your support on Tuesday, August 7 for the benefit of your public safety.

Vote yes on Proposal J to renew the county jail millage. It will continue to provide nearly $39 million annually to protect citizens with a secure jail system and juvenile detention programs.

Proposal J is not a new or additional tax or millage. It is a renewal of the millage already in place. A non-renewal will create a nearly $39 million hole in the budget for jail operations. This will absolutely affect the number of inmates held in custody prior to adjudication. Voting on Proposal J will be the difference between an offender being in custody or monitored by law enforcement versus back on the streets to possibly reoffend. Proposal J affects every Wayne County resident, business and visitor.

Additional information on Proposal J is included at the bottom of this message so that you may know exactly what is being asked of you.

Please vote on Tuesday, August 7.

Wayne County Jail Millage - Proposal J Ballot Language
To renew the millage authorized in 2002, shall Wayne County be authorized to continue to levy this millage at the 2011 rollback rate of .9381 mills (about 94 cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation) for ten more years (2012 through 2021) for any of the following previously authorized uses: To acquire, construct, and/or operate jail, misdemeanant, or juvenile incarceration or detention facilities, and for adult penalty options such as work release, home detention and community restitution; with at least one-tenth of the millage used to acquire, build and operate a juvenile offender work/training institution? This renewal is estimated to generate at least $38,859,493 in property tax revenue in 2012.