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Gene Curran: Sets record straight on justice center votes
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In an editorial on Jan. 4, the Times editorial staff wrote, "... Gene Curran, a member of the Ad Hoc Justice Center Property Committee and one of the outspoken supporters of the justice center's location and plans." Interesting thought process, unfortunately only half correct.

According to your paper I was one of the biggest proponents of having the justice center downtown. I voted against having the justice center at the jail site. The Green County Board, by better than a two-thirds majority, voted to place the justice center at the jail site, in government majority rules. For those who were present, including your reporter, you would be hard pressed to find someone who fought harder.

The fact is I would still prefer the justice center be downtown, however the County Board decided by a vast majority to place the center at the jail site. As a member of the property committee I had a choice to make:

1. I could quit, but that is not in my beliefs.

2. I could whine complain and carry on like many of the editorials, but again against a two-thirds majority that would have been fruitless.

3. I could try to work with the committees on a solution for the best interests of the district I represent and the county.

I chose the third option. I realize this may not be popular with The Monroe Times, but I felt it was the best use of my time.

I am a supporter of the current Justice Center plan because I believe all the committees involved did a fine job of meeting the needs to cure our space issues long-term while also meeting the state requirements for a justice center. The plan is flexible enough to last Green County for many years into the future. All this being accomplished by building one building instead of the two the Venture Architects suggested would be needed.

My goals now are as follows. First, to do everything I can to make sure the justice center comes in under or at budget. Second, to enhance the budding cooperation between the County Board, the City of Monroe and Monroe Main Street for the purpose of fostering growth in downtown Monroe through enhanced tourism and retail development. Third, to work toward long-term solutions to the several issues making it difficult to match the desire to keep county taxes down while still providing the services the citizens of Green County have come to expect.