Opinion & Editorial

It’s pretty simple; cast a vote for decency

I’m not sure any decision is a “no-brainer,” although many come close. Hot fudge sundae with nuts? Uh, yeah. Thin fries over steak fries, everytime. And, yes, of course I’ll take mayo on my hamburger.
Here’s another one: Voting yes on Measure 20-299 on Tuesday, May 21.
I won’t take up space here trying to convince anyone. Mostly, I want to encourage you to get out and actually do the deed: Vote.
And, before you go, consider these facts about the Lane County Courthouse:
Sewage leaks regularly. Like, drips through ceiling tiles, on to people, and their desks. And by people, I mean employees, and visitors. Be careful when you go and get that marriage license.
People accused of violent crimes mingle with citizens, many there to answer the call of jury duty. The accused are walked through public spaces, take the only elevators available in the building to courtrooms, often riding in the same, small elevator car as the alleged victim. Oh, and the elevators regularly break down, trapping the riders.
Deputies and other public safety folks might have to subdue an angry or violent person, or control crowds, all in an open, public space. Not ideal.
How would you like to serve on a jury with the alleged criminal sitting a few feet from you; in fact, right behind you, during the trial. Feeling safe and secure? Yeah, me neither.
Who would choose to have these conditions represent them? Who would want that standard of justice and fairness? Who wants that standard of public safety?
Well, we do. The residents of Lane County. It’s the current condition.
Or, hopefully, we don’t. The residents of Lane County can fix it — by getting out and voting.
There are grants available to help us construct a new courthouse, and control costs. This relic of a building is far from an architectural marvel or historic building. It’s 60 years old, and decrepit.
And not representative of our community’s character.
Here are two comments I overheard while living in Alabama: First, “Our state sends the least amount of taxes to the federal government!” The second: “Thank god for Mississippi and Arkansas.”
Paying the lowest taxes resulted in poor roads, inadequate health care, and decaying schools and public buildings. And thus, Alabamians were thankful for states like Mississippi and Arkansas, so that it didn’t finish 49th or 50th in quality-of-life listings.
How to vote on the new courthouse seems pretty clear. Getting out and doing it is what counts now.



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