Letters to the Editor: Clovis big enough for two county jails

Thanks to the CNJ for all the articles pertaining to the jail and Tuesday’s jail bond election.

I appreciate all the input from those who have worked so diligently to inform us of the facts. We need the information in order to make an intelligent decision on the question “to build or not to build a new jail.”

I like the plans presented and am impressed with the foresight and knowledge of the architect.

There will be a control room to monitor all of the facility all the time. There will be four much-needed multipurpose rooms, designed especially for classes and for Bible studies; sufficient rooms for their medical needs and recreation.

The staff will have adequate tools and resources to conduct the facility properly. It will be far superior to what they are trying to work with currently.

The $700,000 a year saved on boarding prisoners out of county will go a long way in defraying the cost of the new detention center.

The $9.88 million is a lot of money but it is our understanding that it will be used totally for the new jail and nothing else.

Clovis will have a nice, modern adequate facility that Clovis and Curry County will be proud of and we can keep our people at home.

One letter said, “We need a jail, just not two of them. Clovis isn’t that big.”

I say the jail isn’t big enough. We need both jails.


Lois Lesly Barnes


 Consulting service already sheriff’s job

On May 21, Curry County commissioners approved paying Sheriff Matt Murray $3,000 per month to provide safety and security consulting services to our jail operations.

Here’s what our state constitution says:

“The Legislature shall at its first session classify the counties and fix salaries for all county officers, which shall also apply to those elected at the first election under this constitution.

“And no county officer shall receive to his own use any fees or emoluments other than the annual salary provided by law, and all fees earned by any officer shall be by him collected and paid into the treasury of the county.”

Murray is the chief law enforcement officer of Curry County and should exercise his power to “serve and protect” and not charge taxpayers additional fees for providing consulting services to the jail. That is already his job. That is why he was elected. That is what he is being paid for.

Our constitution specifically prohibits this type of payment and I cannot understand why our county administrator and commissioners have agreed to pay this additional fee of $36,000 per year in addition to his salary of $51,277 per year.

I suggest that since our county administrators believe that Murray is so experienced in running jails they should turn the jail back over to the Sheriff’s Department, void this consulting services agreement, and save the county the thousands and thousands of dollars needed to hire jail administrators.

This would solve the problem with finding competent jail administrators since we already have the experience with our own sheriff.


Chet Spear