In 2006 Hamilton County voters were asked to approve a 25-cent Sales Tax increase for a new jail. 57% said no.
In 2007 Hamilton County voters voted on a 50-cent Sales Tax increase for a new jail. Sean Donovan campaigned heavily for it. 56% said no.
Two jail taxes, two crushing defeats. Hamilton County voters have made their voices loud and clear. Most people long accepted it. Mr. Donovan doesn't appear to be one of them - he is still on a mission to raise your taxes:
"It's my mission as sheriff to let the commissioners know and let the public know that the jail situation is overcrowded, we do need a facility, we have taken every creative measure we can think of to alleviate and house the most severe criminals."
When Donovan says we need a new facility, I'm afraid we know exactly what that means. What part of no does he not understand? Hamilton County voters made their decision - twice - and Donovan needs to respect it.
This is hardly Donovan's only questionable stance. For years he has been a vocal supporter of the Cincinnati streetcar. Donovan refuses to support a Performance Audit of the Sheriff's Department. These audits have identified $24 of savings for each $1 of audit costs. After 25 years of Si Leis, this audit is needed more than ever to help reform the department.
Donovan's opponent, Jim Neil, could not be more different. Neil opposes higher taxes for a new jail. Neil will not endorse the streetcar, and Neil has made his support for a Performance Audit a central part of his platform. For those of us who support fiscal responsibility and want to bring reform to the Sheriff's Department, it's become rather easy to determine which candidate deserves our support.