News Column

EDITORIAL: County should take a step back from jail

June 16, 2014

The Natchez Democrat, Miss.



June 17--Adams County Supervisors should take a bit of simple, homespun logic from the billionaire dubbed the "Oracle of Omaha."

Investor Warren Buffett warned his company's shareholders in a 2009 letter, "Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut."

Buffett was referring to Wall Street bankers, but the same could apply to "free" consultants.

Adams County is considering what, if anything, to do about the run-down conditions at the Adams County Jail.

A consulting firm offered to make a free assessment of the jail. The gimmick is the company doesn't get paid for their work unless the county builds a new jail facility.

Does anyone want to guess what the company recommended?

If you guessed the firm suggested the county renovate the existing jail facility, you should run to your nearest barber now.

Of course, the firm recommended the jail be replaced. But it did not make an assessment of the costs to repair the existing facility.

Hopeful to be paid soon, the company left that detail up to the county to determine.

As supervisors consider what they should do -- or may be forced to do by local judges who can mandate action -- we urge them to consider Buffett's warning and then use some common sense of their own.

Buffett didn't become a billionaire by spending money frivolously. He's careful about what he buys, and Adams County should be, too.

Logically, repairing the existing jail should be more economical than replacing, and it doesn't take an oracle to see that.

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(c)2014 The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.)

Visit The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) at www.natchezdemocrat.com

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Source: Natchez Democrat, The (MS)


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