Citizen Advisory Committee will accept report on public safety facility

Clint ColeEditor

Last week the Dallas County Board of Supervisors officially hired The Samuels Group to research the costs of building a new public safety facility, which would include a bigger jail and the Sheriff’s Department. The consultation would also show the costs of doing nothing.

The Supervisors approved a plan at their weekly meeting on Tuesday, June 14 in Adel to have the report, when it is ready in early July, to be presented to a Citizen Advisory Committee that will be assembled by Sheriff Chad Leonard. Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Hanson said that it’s possible that one of the board members, either Kim Chapman or Brad Golightly, could serve on the committee as a representative from the Supervisors.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me as the chair to serve on that,” said Hanson. “Plus I’m in an election situation, possibly.”

Along with Hanson, Chapman and Golightly said that they supportive of the idea.

“The concept would be that that citizens group would receive the report from Samuels on the good, the bad, the ugly, the process sort of things, then they might come back with a recommendation or comments to us as a ‘based on what we see, you know, yes it’s a good idea for a bond,’ and it might be in the fall, or it might be a special,” said Hanson.

Hanson said that in the past it may have looked like it was just the Supervisors’ idea and that they were the only ones that wanted the new public safety facility to be built.

“Maybe by going this process (the citizen advisory committee) where you’ve actually got a group that would work to receive it and evaluate and then make a recommendation I think would be helpful,” said Hanson.

Chapman said that they can take that concept even further and allow the citizen advisory committee to give recommendations and suggestions from their perspective as the voting public.

“If there are those out there that would like to participate but the group becomes too large and they can’t all participate, it should be known who the committee members are that they could contact and feed their ideas through those representatives on that advisory committee,” said Chapman.

Hanson went on to suggest that there could be an open forum concept to the idea.

Those who wish to serve on the citizen advisory committee should contact Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard. The Sheriff’s Department can be reached at (515)993-4771.