From today's Pensacola News-Journal-
Santa Rosa County commissioners are going to take another stab at trying to find a way to build a new courthouse..
Responding to a letter from three Santa Rosa judges during Monday's committee meeting, commissioners agreed a new courthouse is needed.
How to make it a reality is the question. In 2002, voters overwhelmingly rejected a 1-cent sales tax that would have been used to build a new courthouse.
The need for a new judicial center has reached a critical point, according to the letter from Circuit Judges Ron Swanson, Paul Rasmussen and Marci Goodman.
The current facility is deteriorating and overcrowded.
"The overcrowded conditions red flag fundamental and alarming security risks to court personnel and citizens alike," the judges wrote. "With the addition of a new judge and support staff, we are scrambling to find room to do our jobs."
They also said space is inadequate for people to move safely in the hallways and corridors.
"Litigants, witnesses, defendants, jurors, court staff and the judiciary all use the same hallways to and from proceedings," the judges' letter stated. "Dozens of shackled prisoners routinely move past the public and court personnel in non-secure access and transit points."
In January, the county's staff will present a list of potential sites for a new courthouse to commissioners.
"If we don't do anything, it's going to be mandated to us," Chairman Tom Stewart said. "If we have to try to figure out a way to take it out of our hides to pay for it, then we may have to do it."
"This is probably the last notice we are going to get before there's a mandate (by the courts)," he said.
And who gave judges the power to mandate a new courthouse? I don't see that listed in any constitution, state or federal, as one of the powers a judge has.
Was this letter a threat or a warning to residents of Santa Rosa County? Without seeing the letter, it is impossible to tell. However Florida's judiciary has a clear record of lawlessness and overreaching. The Florida Supreme Court is perhaps the worst example. That's why I tell people to always vote no whenever judges come up for retention.
Santa Rosa County voters would be wise to take my advise before a tax is imposed on them by judicial fiat. Any judge who reads this, tell me where in any state or federal constitution that says taxes can be imposed by judges?
Linked to- Bright & Early, Third World County, Wakeup America,