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JP Coger's Washington County Update 2/11/24

Updated: Feb 12



I love this statement that Judge Beaumont made at one of the last Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) meetings. It captures what I want to always remember.


 

THINGS TO KNOW:


   Government works best, especially local government, when the community is informed and involved.   Forty-two (42) people have viewed the WC Quorum Court meeting held in January of 2019 that’s posted on YouTube.  The WC QC meeting for January, 2024 has already had 220 views. That’s a big increase, but we need thousands to subscribe and watch all the QC and committee meetings. Go back and watch meetings from years past. It's very interesting to do that.

  •  I urge you to subscribe to the county’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@washcoar

  • Go back and watch meetings at your leisure and make notes.  If you have questions, ask me.

  Washington County Quorum Court regular monthly meeting Thursday, 2/15/24, 6:00 PM, Washington County Courthouse. This meeting is in-person only, so you must be present to speak and participate.  Meetings are live-streamed on the County’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar   See below for agenda and more information.


  The bid is still open by the Washington County Buildings & Grounds for temporary employment agencies to provide services for the county.  Here are the details for the bid posted 1/30/24.  Bids are due by Monday, 2/12/24 @ 4:00 PM


 

  As of 2/9/24, there are 731 known people incarcerated in the WC Detention Center. Learn more here and see how you can get involved.







 




If you missed last week’s Finance & Budget (F&B) meeting, here's a brief summary, but I urge you to watch the entire meeting here:  https://www.youtube.com/live/xMI5h6jAk9A?si=7JRj10FOenSvbbTC


 


COUNTY MEETINGS WEEK of 2/11/24:  


The Washington County Quorum Court’s regular monthly meeting is this Thursday, 2/15/24 at 6:00 PM, Washington County Courthouse.  

There will be a fifteen (15) minute public comment period just after the meeting opens for members of the community to speak and/or bring concerns to the court.  Anyone can speak for up to three (3) minutes.  However, there will also be a twelve minute public comment time before we vote on any ordinance or resolution.  So lots of opportunities to address the court, and we do need to hear from the community as much as possible.



AGENDA ITEMS I’M HIGHLIGHTING

 Item No. 8 is the Ordinance to accept $117,953 for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). This program is voluntary.  We do not have to participate, and it pays us very little to do so. My position is that everyone in our criminal justice system should be treated equally.  Let everyone go through the system and face punishment accordingly, but let’s not stack the possibility of deportation on our immigrant communities.  Learn more about SCAAP and what it does here


 Item 9. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 2017-44.  As you know, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee has been suspended since early last fall. I am sponsoring this ordinance to amend the original ordinance to make more people eligible to serve on the CJCC.  This will allow the judge to appoint designees from various county offices and, most importantly, will increase the membership to include members of the community.  Read more here.  If you want to see the CJCC up and running again, please contact Judge Deakins, your JP, and all JPs and ask them to support this ordinance which merely broadens the base of prospective members. Contact information for everyone is at the bottom of this newsletter.


 Item 10.  The ordinance ratifying a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for CDS Motor Sports will be on its second reading.  After last month's meeting when I tried to add a requirement to the CUP that the project must be approved by the State Fire Marshall before final approval, we were sent a letter from the State Fire Marshal which you can read hereHere’s the  application for CDS Motorsports. 


Item 11.  An ordinance ratifying the CUP for Kindness in Motion.  Here’s the application that was filed with the Planning Commission.  Also on for second reading.


Item 12.  An ordinance denying the CUP for Belle Terra Venue (a wedding destination site).  We voted last month to not ratify the CUP, but apparently we must also now vote to deny it.  I don’t remember this happening like this, but perhaps it has. We'll likely learn more about this Thursday.



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WANT TO BECOME INVOLVED?

  • ATTEND AS MANY MEETINGS OF THE QUORUM COURT AS YOU CAN.  CHECK MY WEBSITE WWW.BETHCOGER.COM FOR DATES AND TIMES.   

  • Read the 2020 Criminal Justice Assessment Study here and learn more.  This tells us what we must do if we do not want to build a larger jail.  

  • Continue to ask Judge Deakins to appoint members to the CJCC and get that group up and running! This is too important. If you haven’t called, please do so, or send email, or go by the courthouse and speak to the judge in person. His door is “always open…” that’s what he said during his campaign. 

  • Contact your JP and set up a time to meet them for coffee or just to get together.  Become a regular voice in their ear and urge them to vote for criminal justice reform and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  I write this each week, but it really is important.  That’s how I got started advocating to the court back in 2019. CAN YOU TAKE AN HOUR OR TWO AND MEET WITH YOUR JP AND SHARE YOUR CONCERNS OR COMMENTS, OR WHATEVER YOUR THOUGHTS ARE.

  • Share this Newsletter with your friends and neighbors!

  • Write letters to the editor.  letters@nwadg.com

  • Here's link to contact your elected representatives and other county officials: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tx_nJbsWcStPPtVIzPjzZxd5CBLC06BOUaNuG09JF0c/edit?usp=sharing

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