Make sure your voices are heard with all those other politicians who shared their table as well. And shame on the Gila Community College for supporting the idea of private prisons as a "good" industry for the workforce (they're in it for the $$ too).
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SGCEDC board courts state legislators for prison support
Posted: Wednesday, Jun 30th, 2010
BY: Holly Sow/Staff Writer
GLOBE — Members of the Southern Gila County Economic Development Corporation (SGCEDC) hosted an invitation-only luncheon banquet at the Dream Manor Inn on Thursday, June 24, to further promote and rally support in favor of having a 1,000-bed prison built on state land out
by the County Fair Grounds within Globe City limits. The luncheon cast the prison project in a very positive light, stressing the economic impact it will have for the communities of Southern Gila County.
Opponents of the prison were not invited to attend, however. The press was also excluded, but was given admittance at the door with the request that no pictures be taken and no questions be asked.
Special guests included Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen and Arizona State Representative Bill Konopnicki, Gila Community College Senior Dean Dr. Stephen Cullen and Dean Patricia Burke, Globe Vice-Mayor Thea Wilshire, City Manager Kane Graves, county supervisors Mike Pastor and Shirley Dawson, County Manager Don McDaniel, Sheriff John Armer, and Emerald Companies Director of Business Development Mike Moore, F.C. Cuny Corporation President Chris Cuny, and Corplan Corrections President James Parkey.
The meeting reiterated many of the same points made in previous presentations at Globe City Council.
The main objective this time was to ask Allen and Konopnicki to make their support of a private prison to be built in Southern Gila County known at the state level. Allen was very receptive of the proposal after watching a DVD put together by the EDC and hearing from the EDC board members and city and county officials.
Konopnicki was eager to hear how the project would benefit the local economy and said he supported the state building the prisons in rural areas throughout the state of Arizona. He did ask for more information about qualified workforce numbers as well as the exact per diem number. Konopnicki further requested more information on the expansion possibility that was touched on, with the option of increasing the facilities from a 1,000 to a 2,000-bed prison. He asked to have information sent to him in a summary form.
Thea Wilshire gave a presentation about the need to diversify the local economy. Pastor commented on the need for expanded services to the region. Finally, Mickie Nye spoke of how the prison will benefit local families and businesses.
Melissa Woodall concluded the presentation part of the luncheon saying “We are only asking for 1,000 beds, only 20 percent of the total amount. That is not too much.”
The three gentlemen from the companies who build and operate the private prison ended with a plea “Is there anything our team can do to help this project? Is that a fair question?”
On June 29, 2010, the Arizona Department of Corrections media relations office reported that the decision regarding the private prisons is still pending legal review and review of the technical logistics suggested in each proposal. There is currently no set date for the announcement.