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OUR OPINION: Disappointment over rejection of ankle bracelets

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It’s a shame the Roane County Commission failed the taxpayers on a potential resource — ankle bracelets — to save taxpayers some revenue while expanding our arsenal to deal with nonviolent crime.

We’d like to give a nod to the commissioners who voted Monday in favor of the measure, which would have allocated $25,000 for an ankle-bracelet monitoring program.

The commissioners who stuck their necks out in an effort to save taxpayers some money were Copper Bacon, James Brummett, Randy Ellis, Jerry Goddard, Chris Johnson and Fred Tedder.

Johnson made a strong case for the program as sort of a test for how it might work.

“This gives us a field of study to say, hey, did it work or not?” Johnson said. “It’s sort of a trial and error.”

And while Commissioner Stanley Moore voted against the measure, he at least asked questions about the proposal and made an effort to delay the vote.

Commissioners Ron Berry, Ray Cantrell, Benny East, Nick Forrester and George Nelson also voted against the measure. Commissioners Bobby Collier, Carolyn Granger and Steve Kelley were not there.

The new jail was a costly expense for taxpayers, and further expansion should be bluntly rejected. County officials need to learn that the deep pockets — and the patience — of their constituents have limits.

We need alternatives to costly new buildings and additional manpower. It’s time for our officials to get creative — and get a clue.