I hate to sound like a broken record, but these people need to quit complaining about getting what they voted for.
Midland County officials are appealing to the state for reconsideration after it stripped $1.2 million in funding from the Court Residential Treatment Center and effectively closed the facility.
“This is devastating for us,” said Jed Davenport, director of the Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
The 50-bed facility is one of eight statewide being closed, Davenport said. Other facilities sustained a reduction in funding. Between the cuts, 343 beds in Texas are being lost for substance abuse treatment through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Judge Rodney Satterwhite, of the 441st District Court, said they were alerted on July 11 of the closure and received a formal letter explaining the CRTC’s defunding on Monday.
“It provides a valuable service to the citizens of Midland County,” he said, speaking to county commissioners. “We as the judges of Midland County have decided we are going to appeal the decision.”
The lease is contingent upon funding being restored during the current biennium or during the next biennium and also will require the state to pay operational costs at the center, which it has done in the past. An option to extend the lease an additional five years if all requirements are met will be included in the lease contract as well as a provision allowing the county to move CRTC services to a comparable facility if it deems that necessary.
In previous years, the state has paid the county $36,000 a year to lease the CRTC facility located behind the Midland County Detention Center. A formal lease, though, has not been signed for the center since April of 2009, which prompted the state to cite the building’s availability being in jeopardy as part of its reason for cutting CRTC funding, 142nd District Court Judge George “Jody” Gilles said.
Judge Robin Darr, of the 385th District Court, said they want to be able to show the state every issue brought up in its letter has been addressed, which is part of why they think the lease is so important.
“I would just not want it to look like Midland County is semi-supportive — supportive in word, but not in deed,” Darr said.
Gilles said the letter also explained the state looked at the center’s utilization rates from 2008 when making its decision. Since that time, he said, Davenport has taken over the department and utilization and success rates have both improved.
“It serves a need in our community,” Gilles said. “We can’t argue the fact that there’s been problems along the way, but those have been corrected.”
Here’s how Midland County voted in the last election:
Governor Rick Perry REP 21,864 78.46% Bill White DEM 5,085 18.25% Kathie Glass LIB 778 2.79% Deb Shafto GRN 98 0.35% Andy Barron W-I 38 0.13% Race Total 27,863 Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst REP 23,195 83.51% Linda Chav-Th DEM 3,691 13.29% Scott Jameson LIB 734 2.64% Herb Gonzales GRN 152 0.54% Race Total 27,772
Judges Satterwhite and Darr were on the ballot as well, as the Republican nominees. They were unopposed. Judge Gilles was not on the ballot, but I’m going to take a wild guess and presume he’s a Republican, too. What they are complaining about is the direct result of Republican budget policies implemented by the Republican-majority legislature at the insistence of Republican Governor Rick Perry and Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, both of whom got an overwhelming share of the vote in Midland County. With all due respect to them, theirs isn’t the only community with these needs. But that’s what they voted for in Midland, and that’s what they got. If they don’t like it, I recommend they vote differently next time. Link via Grits.