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No jail findings yet, but they're coming

The Pierce County Jail Ad Hoc Committee gave their first update to the finance and personnel committee Monday.

The ad hoc committee, made up of three citizen members, was created at the behest of the finance and personnel committee, so they won't be serving "at the whim of the electorate," explained Committee Chairperson Jeff Holst.

For those in attendance Monday (including Sheriff Nancy Hove and Chief Deputy Jason Matthys) who were looking for any signs on where the ad hoc committee was leaning, they weren't saying.

"We are in an information gathering phase, not problem solving," said Jay Richardson.

Richardson, the only one of three ad hoc members not to previously serve in government, noted he was surprised to hear after Mike Hunter toured the new jail in Steele County in Owatonna, Minn., that jail was built with multiple classrooms for programs, but they are not being used, due to lack of funding.

"What is the point if we don't have funding?" he said.

All three of them noted they wish they could talk to each other more, but realized the challenge in that as it pertains to the Open Meetings Records Law.

Ad Hoc Chair Rod Rommel assured committee members they are taking their assignment very seriously, and have spent over 150 hours on this project and looked at over 500 pages of information.

The rest of the time was spent with ad hoc members asking committee members how they want to be keep abreast of their findings. It was agreed they would give another update at the Monday, May 6, meeting and Rommel said they hope to have a final presentation in June with a complete and thorough report on what led them to their decision.

For more please read the April 3 print version of the Herald.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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