I'd reported earlier on the creation of Tyler's local jail opposition group, the "What part of no don't you understand committee." With nine figures of school bonds also on the ballot in Tyler and a high turnout election with the presidential race on the ballot, I have a hard time imagining how local officials think a jail vote will pass now when it was rejected by 2/3 of the voters two years running.The "Finally! A Jail Plan We Can Afford Committee" will hold a news conference announcing the formation of its action group in support of the Smith County Jail Bond proposed Nov. 4.Former jail opposition leader Bobby Curtis and past jail proposition supporter Herb Buie, along with Treasurer Harold Beaird and Campaign Manager Sharon Guthrie make up the committee that will lobby for the passage of the $59 million jail bond.The press conference will take place inside the Smith County Annex Building Court Room at 200 E. Ferguson 11 a.m. on Monday.
Tyler District Judge Cynthia Kent predicts the jail will be full on the day it opens because the commissioners court remains too focused on new construction instead of diverting people from jail or processing cases more quickly through the courts. Smith County has created a couple of successful diversion programs in light of recent jail bond rejections, but by all appearances the only way to get them to fully commit to that strategy would be for voters to reject the jail for the third year running. I predict that's exactly what will happen.