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Please inform Mrs. Jaquez that, although it may appear rude, criticism of our public officials is a fundamental freedom of our constitutional system. And, so, I shall exercise my right.
Contrary to Mrs. Jaquez’s assertion, the aesthetics of the new justice center do and will continue to affect Meeker negatively. There were many design options to meet the “needs” of a new jail, yet the commissioners chose one that was rejected by the public at the initial design presentation.
“Don’t close Fifth Street,” we said, and “Don’t ruin the streetscape with outsized structures.”
As a result of the commissioners’ single-mindedness, the massive new structure has reduced the property values of the homes on Park Street by half. At a time when the area is finally trying to boost the local economy by featuring our historic legacy, the new structure with its “kiosk” mangles the historic ambience at the very center of our town and could well affect the hoped-for designation of Meeker on the National Register of Historic Places.
Never mind the loss of the leafy streetscape and the inconvenience of closing 5th Street. Never mind the spurious argument that the new center removed hazardous asbestos—renovation or demolishing required costly asbestos removal.
The failure of the commissioners to fulfill their promise for a conforming Justice Center entrance, something that would have required a little effort and communication, is simply the last straw.
It underscores the most disturbing thing about this whole messy business—the commissioners’ apparent disregard for the very people to whom they are responsible and who elected them.