Vote for juvenile detention and jail facilities

In 2016, hundreds of citizens spoke out against a possible move of Okanogan County’s juvenile detention facilities to the Spokane area to be managed by a multi-state business. That proposed move would have also meant a loss of 10+ professional jobs and their contribution to the local economy. The pressure engaged citizens used to dissuade our County Commissioners from “robbing Peter to pay Paul” was effective, and commissioners rightly decided that the people did not want this service nor our children moved more than 200 miles away from families.
Now is the time for voters to say yes to needed juvenile detention and jail facility upgrades that triggered the commissioners’ review. The current building was constructed in the 1970s and hasn’t had any major improvements. Now, juvenile detention renovations are needed to comply with current state regulations, including additional sign-in rooms, improved security doors, and anti-slip flooring. Other needed improvements are new showers, heating/cooling upgrades, and a backup generator. The last cosmetic upgrades were done over 15 years ago.
The current county budget does not have the needed revenue to pay for these upgrades from the general fund, so a levy is necessary. Proposition One is on your mail-in ballot for the November 7th general election.
Vote yes to keep these needed services in the community and at acceptable standards. Do your part to improve the quality of life in Okanogan County. Put your vote where your heart is – for this county and its future!
Sharon Sumpter,

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