Emergency Declaration, Jail Population, County Budget, & More
Friday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, County Commissioners Chad Seay and Jason Corley, as well as Steve Evans, joined Dave King and guest host Matt Crow to talk about the recent diagnosis of Donald Trump, various issues in the county, Planned Parenthood, the women's prison needing expansion, the sheriff's department budget, mail in ballots and electronic voting, and more.
Commissioner Chad Seay was asked about the fact that the commissioners court lifted their emergency declaration at the last meeting. Seay explained that the declaration was not doing the city any good since everyone is already under the direction of the Governor anyway. He went on to explain that the declaration is typically meant to only cover a short period of time for an emergency like a tornado that causes a lot of destruction, so that things like looting can be avoided. In this case, Seay believed that all it served to do was create unnecessary hype for the virus.
Seay also discussed the fact that he and Commissioner Jason Corley walked out during a previous Commissioner's Court meeting, a move that he received a lot of criticism for. Seay explained that he was not as familiar with the budget then, and therefore didn't feel comfortable with what was being voted on, and so he walked out to avoid a vote. He went on to say that he does not want to avoid a vote every time like that, and instead would like to stand his ground and vote. That being said, Seay said that doesn't mean that he will never do it again, just not every time. He is happy with some aspects of how the court is going, but not others.
Another question that was asked was what the biggest issue that they are facing right now is, to which Seay answered that the issue lies with the increase in the jail population. Typically, their population hovers just below 1,300, but that there has been in increase in the female population, to the point where their current 1 pod system may no longer be sufficient. Seay went on to say that they have been unaware of how to streamline the court and jail system, but that they have hired a firm who will be studying that during this next fiscal year and who will determine when a new pod will be needed. Chad says that they will rely on the firm's expertise, but that he isn't thrilled with the idea of a new pod anyway, due to the likely cost being $40 million, saying,
That is a huge number, and I don't want to tackle that fare unless I absolutely have to.
When asked if the city contributes to the jail financially at all, County Commissioner Jason Corley said that they do not.
Watch the full interview with Chad Seay, Jason Corley, and Steve Evans in the video above.