Coats used the “blame the Democrats” card to lodge his disapproval with the Council’s bi-partisan decision to allow the flawed plan by Mayor Greg Ballard to die on the vine. It never got to a vote because there weren’t enough votes to pass it, and I hear it’s not even that close. It’s another example of where Mayor Ballard has put the cart before the horse and then has told the Council to push the horse.
Well, the failure of the deal to come to fruition really ticked off Coats, and I’m surprised Coats didn’t use all capital letters in this rant:
This is failed leadership at its worst. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and barring a miracle, it will slip through our fingers. We will live with the repercussions of this for decades either by suffering along with our current dilapidated facilities or drastically higher costs of building in the future rather than now. The next time you're in the City-County Building for jury duty, need a police report for insurance purposes, paying property taxes, etc and find yourself in a elevator with a chaingang of prisoners, make sure to thank the Democrat leadership of the City-County Council for their failure to act.
Guess what? We’re going to have a new jail in this town, and it probably will contain much of what was proposed in the Justice Center. It’s just going to have to be a good deal for the city and for its taxpayers. This deal that Mayor Ballard tried to sell was another public-private partnership mess that had uncertainty and even boondoggle written all over it.
Sheriff John Layton has stated the need for a new facility, and the Council wants to get it done. The only problem with this particular proposal were the details in the Mayor's deal. That's why this failed in a bipartisan manner.