DOC director Justin Jones shouldn't be punished for funds

Published: April 29, 2013
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Regarding “No bail for jails” (News, April 24): The governor and corrections board need to give Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones an “atta boy”' rather than a scolding for maintaining revolving fund balances. My guess is that the entire amount could be spent to fix roofs and other needed building and equipment repairs in our institutions housing prisoners. If an agency director is discouraged from managing agency resources in a way that will allow him/her to address unexpected needs and deferred maintenance, more of our state facilities will start to crumble like the Capitol building. If the governor wants to call someone on the carpet it should be her director of state finance. He should've made that information available in a timelier manner; his office has it for all state agencies.

My impression of the state's fiscal management is that it suffers from a lack of agency experience, or experience “in the trenches” by those dealing with fiscal policy. In past years, issues such as level of debt, the maintenance of the Capitol building, management of revolving funds, even income tax policy, have been influenced in positive ways by experienced staff who could see the effects of policy on state agencies and their ability to fulfill a mission. We seem now to be in a situation similar to that of the president — too many advisers who don't have the necessary experience of managing something.

Let's not punish a director who's being responsible with fiscal resources. Let's praise him.

Raymond Johnson, Ada