Former commissioner opposes utilizing Two Rivers facility

Thursday, November 1, 2018

As a retired commissioner for Big Horn County, I have been opposed to the large detention center development since it was first brought to the county commission in 1998. Two Rivers is and has been wrong for my community. I didn’t and still don’t want the county to have anything to do with it.

Once the Two Rivers Authority released the bonds to the private bondholders because they had been unsuccessful in finding a long-term operator, I knew I was right that Two Rivers was a failed project. When the slick, suit-wearing bondholders came to me and the other commissioners looking for a bailout in May 2012, I told them the county would not get involved for more than 25 cents on the dollar. They ran up against an old horse trader that day.

The jail expansion on the Nov. 6 ballot has triggered an over-the-top response from the Two Rivers board members, who are blasting the measure and personally attacking county officials. Why are these people fighting so hard against the jail expansion? Probably because they have something to gain from selling the money-sucking project to the county taxpayers.

Two Rivers is too large for the county to handle. The layout won’t work as a county jail in 2018. We need a safe, manageable building for our employees and inmates. Why would we want an oversized, more expensive version of what we already have?

I want you to vote for giving the county authority to increase its borrowing limit to reasonably expand our jail. Do not let Two Rivers Authority bully the county taxpayers into rescuing that failed development.

John Pretty On Top

Former Big Horn

County Commissioner,

1997-2014 District 1

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