To the editor:
Do we the citizens of Texas really know how the tax dollars are being spent? The answer would probably be no, because we trust that they will be put to good use in Austin.
In the next few weeks, cameras are to be installed in the Ron Jackson Facility in Brownwood. They are supposed to install around 2100 cameras on these two units at the amazing low cost of $400 per camera. There will be at least one camera in every room and sometimes up to nine in some areas. Letís put it this way ó you will not be able to scratch your nose without someone seeing it.
The cost to you the people of Texas is $840,000, not including the hard drives, screens and wiring, a total cost of around $2 million. If that does not sound bad enough, there are another 11 facilities that will need to be done, and another nine half way houses. Total cost, only those in Austin could answer this question. But letís move on.
New radios are being added to these facilities at a cost of around $4,500 a radio. So if only 100 radios are used in the facilities and another 10 at the halfway houses, there is a total cost of $5,850,000 for the facilities and $450,000 for halfway houses. This cost does not include towers and hardware or installation.
Now we have these different committees in Austin, the Sunset committee and the blue ribbon panel composed of 99.6 percent Doctors of one kind or another. They have decided that the youth are being degraded by having to wear orange clothing, so now all the youth will be furnished with new clothing to make themselves feel better, paid for by the taxpayers of Texas.
Yet the staff are mandated to wear these lime green vests with TYC staff printed on them because someone in Austin could not tell the difference between the staff and the students, cost to you the taxpayer of around $30 a vest.
And this should interest local businesses ó products purchased by the state are based on the HUB program. HUB stands for historically underutilized business, and is based on the business points and not the price. What this means to the local businesses is that even if their price is cheaper the hub dealer will still get the bid. And with all this free money floating around Austin you would think they could have given the corrections officers more than $50 a month raise to spend in Brown County.
This is our taxpaying money and it should be spent more wisely and someone should have to answer for the outrageous spending. And more of this money should stay at home here in Brown County instead of being sent off to different hub businesses throughout the state.
Call your local senators and representatives and voice your opinion.