Well-maintained jail protects the taxpayers | SummitDaily.com

Well-maintained jail protects the taxpayers

The Summit-Lake Dillon Optimist Club

Jail House Rock benefit party at the Summit County Jail Saturday was fun, but didactic.

To use an old saw, the jail is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

That’s not to say the place is a dump. Quite the contrary, and that should be a relief to the Summit County taxpayers.

Sheriff Joe Morales explained a philosophy that calls for the jail, opened in 1986, to be kept in tip-top shape. Like on a Navy ship, painting, cleaning and swabbing the floors never ceases.

According to Morales, a clean, well-kept jail fosters a sense of professionalism in staff and an intangible degree of respect in most inmates. More than that, it wards off civil rights suits aimed at jails where conditions violate constitutional rights.

Morales said he teaches courses for new sheriffs, and he emphasizes the point that lawsuits over jail conditions are pointless and expensive for taxpayers.

Morales said he maintains a staff trained through a career approach to corrections, which also helps protect taxpayers from legal liability.

The sheriff joked his jail is known as “he Breckenridge Hilton.” We wouldn’t go that far in describing it. It’s still a jail where spaces are confined and time moves very slowly. But it’s kept in great shape. Under the Morales administration, taxpayers can feel secure the jail is in good hands.

For those wondering how a party can be held in a jail, the inmates are being housed temporarily in Park County so that the jail’s electronic security system can undergo an almost $600,000 renovation.

Skiing isn’t an entitlement

Now we know how they must have felt in the welfare office when that entitlement was reformed in the 1990s.

A few seniors are miffed that Vail Resorts has ended free skiing for people 70 and over, and in recent seasons has raised the price.

Seniors still get a discounted lift ticket.

Free skiing for seniors was a nice idea at one time, and if the private business were to deem it so again, so be it. But that’s the point. It is a business decision.

In reality free skiing for seniors was a nice perk for aging gracefully, but times have changed in the ski business. Many will argue this is one more example of a publicly traded company raping and pillaging the checkbooks of its customers, but we cannot take issue with the loss of free skiing.

In reality , the cost of skiing is more reasonable than ever, across the board. Buddy Pass prices have revolutionized the sport, which needed the injection of enthusiasm. Maybe one casualty was free skiing for seniors.

In the big picture, now everybody can get a deal if they look hard enough, and that includes seniors. Seniors, we love you, but if you must ski for free, look for the resorts where that is still a good marketing idea.

Planning Ridge Street

The continuing complaint about Breckenridge is too many real estate offices occupy Main Street storefronts in place of retail and restaurants.

The town is not tackling that problem directly, but it does have a hot idea to create a new corridor dedicated to history and the arts. The arts district would run from the Riverwalk Center through Blue River Place, up Washington Avenue and along Ridge Street.

Ridge Street is already revived by the new Breckenridge Theatre in the old Shamus O’Toole’s Roadhouse Saloon. The whole idea could create an even greater cachet for Ridge Street, and attract retail storefronts. The trouble is, if it gets too “cool,” real estate offices could move in unless the town takes a hard look at managing the issue before it happens. It’s early. The plans are encouraging.

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