To The Daily Sun,
To my fellow taxpayers of Belknap County:
I hope all of you are following the shell game being played with our tax dollars between the commissioners and the Belknap County Convention. I read in last Saturday's Daily Sun that $53,000 had to be transferred to cover unexpected medical costs. It goes on to say that this expense was incurred as the result of a woman who tried to commit suicide and had to be flown to Dartmouth for medical treatment.
I attended today's commissioners meeting to ask about this and who was going to be held responsible for this incident. The answer of course is nobody. As I was speaking someone behind me, presumably from the Corrections Department, told me I didn't know what I was talking about. I pointed out that this is failure of management and Commissioner Taylor said this kind of thing happens all the time all over the country. Of course that is true; however, this incident was completely preventable.
Let's examine the facts:
1. This woman was brought to the county facility and placed in the custody of the Sherriff's Department.
2. The Corrections and Sherriff's departments were familiar with this person and that she was prone to this kind of behavior; in fact, she has done this before. This was said at the meeting.
3. She tried to do this between the cell check intervals of 15 or 30 minutes. So she knew the routine.
4. The result of this attempted suicide necessitated medical costs of $53,000 to be paid by us, the taxpayers.
5. Nobody is going to be held accountable for this failure.
This is another example of the poor leadership and bad management that afflicts our county government.
Mr. Taylor, I know this kind of thing happens all the time all over the country but that does not excuse the fact that it happened here and it was preventable. You know there is a problem but you just shrug your shoulders and say nothing can be done. I disagree.
I ask why, given the fact that the corrections people knew of this persons nature, was she not placed under tighter watch for a short time? Is the management of our county so inept that they can't be in the least bit proactive instead of always being reactive. This is one of the hallmarks of good leadership and management. Anyone who has had any training in leadership understands this concept.
So the taxpayers will pony up the $53,000, but I will add this: F=for a lot less than this figure we could outfit the jail with small inexpensive cctv cameras on every cell to be monitored 24/7 as needed. This would catch attempts like this early and prevent medical cost's like this — or worse, a successful attempt.
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