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Building site, towing policy need answers

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

I attended the April 15 Ogle County Board meeting and found it very interesting. A couple items gave me reason for concern.

The planned location of the sheriff’s new administrative building was brought up. Several board members, again, expressed their views against the present planned location for the building.

They, along with an Oregon businessman and a prominent local and countywide businesswoman, brought to light their dislike of the planned location along First Street (location of present sheriff’s office, morgue and maintenance building).

At minimum, this group requested a 30-day delay on the vote to accept the bid and its location, to allow for an impact study. That was defeated by a close 13-8 margin.

I don’t understand why all avenues of investigation of a $4 million project were not allowed, thus enabling the final vote to be of a much wider spread or even a 100 percent yes. Voters would then know all questions and problems had been worked out. 

Three of the county’s towing service owners expressed a First Amendment concern. All three claimed they had been on the sheriff’s tow rotation list for years. After Sheriff Harn took over, they had received no calls for a tow from the sheriff’s office other than by a vehicle owner’s request.

One had recently been terminated after receiving a letter, another after a dispute with the sheriff, and the third as he had displayed a political sign of a candidate other than the sheriff prior to the last primary; plus, the other two displayed opposing campaign signs.

A request for a forensic audit of the sheriff’s tow fund was heard. That’s super, but falls way short of a complete forensic audit of the sheriff’s office. A newly elected sheriff will surely want this done before he takes office.

So let’s get it all done now. Why wait?

 

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