Scott Wedel: Voters understood

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The 2002 election campaign regarding the bonds for the justice center included fliers posted across the county arguing against the bond measure, noting the cost of building it downtown and, in particular, the cost of the parking garage.

The campaign further noted that it would cost less to put the justice center west of town next to the jail.

Thus, contrary to the claims of Towny Anderson and Friends of the Justice Center, who are now claiming to know the minds of those who voted the measure down, when I voted against the bond measure I was very much voting against putting the justice center downtown.

I want the justice center to be west of town next to the jail. I want the current courtroom space in the county building to be available for other county departments. I do not want a multistory parking garage in downtown Steamboat. I am appalled that the Steamboat Springs City Council is willing to consider ignoring the parking requirements to make it less expensive to build the justice center in downtown. By that rationale, the city should be willing to allow the county to build the Justice Center west of downtown without a parking lot.

Lawyers will not be moving their offices next to the justice center. Lawyers want to be close to their clients. It is a false analogy to compare lawyers with doctors because doctors are far more dependent upon medical equipment only available at the hospital.

Lastly, if the county is not able to build the justice center west of downtown, then I would advocate building it in Hayden or Yampa. It would be a welcomed change for county tax dollars to benefit a community in Routt County other than Steamboat Springs.

Scott Wedel

Steamboat Springs

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