Montana Public Radio

Lewis & Clark County Voters Say 'Heck No' To New Detention Center

Nov 4, 2015

Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Susan Good Geise says voters on Tuesday not only said "no" to plans for a new detention center, they said “heck no”.

Almost 65 percent of local voters rejected the nearly $41 million bond proposal. An accompanying operations levy to run the center failed by almost 70 percent.

The proposals were designed to alleviate critical overcrowding conditions at the existing detention facility.

Commissioner Geise is disappointed by the outcome. She says public safety is government’s primary function.

"And so if we have other priorities, we need to perhaps reorder those. I might have a little sign over my desk that says, ‘Leave no ox ungored.’”

In other words, she believes local government officials need to reevaluate local spending priorities. Helena voters this year also rejected a school bond issue and a fairgrounds levy.