Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Voters in Lafourche, La., will decide on Saturday about whether tax dollars that are currently being spent on funding the library system should be rededicated to building a detention center.
The Lafourche Parish Detention Center was built to hold fewer than 100 inmates, and is now well over capacity housing 245.
"We are overcrowded in this jail, and we're forced to ship prisoners out of the jail to be housed in other parishes at a cost of over $1 million a year to the taxpayers," said Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson Deputy Brennan Matherne.
Matherne isn’t the only one supporting the redirection of funding.
Council Chairman Lindel Toups has served as the chair of the “New Jail Committee,” since 2011 for a number of reasons. Money is just one of them.
“They’ve got too much money,” Toups said. “We’re giving the public the chance to raise the jail money without raising taxes. Any blind man can see that.”
A philosophical disagreement about the library’s role in the community is another.
“They’re teaching Mexicans how to speak English,” the council chairman said in reference to library ESL program Biblioteca Hispana.
“Let that son of a bitch go back to Mexico. There’s just so many things they’re doing that I don’t agree with. … Them junkies and hippies and food stamps (recipients) and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps (on the Internet). I see them do it.”
The library system’s director, Laura Sanders, cautioned that a funding shift will have consequences. "If you take $800,000 away from our budget every year for 30 years, that's $24 million," she said. "We will have to make cuts."
[Fox 8 New Orleans] [Tri-Parish Times]