Judge Parrish Talks County Budget, Jail Expansion, & Census Data
Tuesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish joined Dave and Matt to talk about the county budget, their criminal justice assessment and how it will affect the jail, the citizens committee working on the expo center, vaccines, and more.
The county has been staying busy, according to Judge Parrish, and the next thing they are working on is the county budget process which is just beginning. The county's fiscal year covers from October 1st and goes through September 30th. When asked if there was any talk about cutting the Sherriff department budget, the Judge adamantly said that they are not considering it, and went as far as to say that if anyone tries to bring him the idea of defunding the police, that he turns them away. Curtis went on to say that the opposite is more likely to happen, where they will be increasing the Sheriff department budget as Lubbock county continues to grow.
With talk in the past about the jail being at full capacity and the idea of possible expansion, the Judge was asked if there has been any recent discussion about the issue. Curtis explained that they are currently doing a criminal justice assessment to take a look at the current criminal justice system and see what exactly the county needs. One idea has been a pod system, so that if the jail needed a quick expansion, a pod could be opened up. Curtis has said that he knows the county needs more space, however, he is going to wait to see what the criminal justice assessment says before he makes any big decisions about what is needed.
Another topic of discussion was the Census. Judge Parrish explained that they will receive census data around September 30th that will give them various info about the county. Then, using that info, the county will redraw and redistrict the boundaries of the 4 precincts, up to 10% variation in the population. Parrish explained that you really don't want the areas to be uneven population wise. "It's part art. It's part science," Curtis said. Parrish also explained that on the state level it can be a real fight, as the results of the districts affect the congressional seats.
The Judge also was asked again about the Expo Center. Curtis reminded us that there is currently a citizens committee made up of 9 members who are more or less in charge of the expo center. The committee are currently in the design and development process, and will be meeting on May 3rd. Parrish said that they want what is best for the community, and want to implement what they think the community wants to see. However, Curtis also said that they have to be carful with funding, as well as keep some legal deadlines in mind. Overall, he feels like the county is in a good place right now.
Listen to the full interview with Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish in the audio above.
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