Rendering a 2-to-1 vote in favor of submitting an application for an available Department of Justice grant to support behavioral health programming February 16, Sierra County Commissioners nonetheless expressed a reluctance to immediately lend their support for the proposed project. Outlined by jail administrator Virginia Lee, the grant being sought would provide funding for the acquisition and operation of transitional housing for incarcerated individuals. Lee explained how the program would seek to further reduce recidivism by assuring those at high-risk of committing further crimes are assured secure housing and access to further behavioral health programming.
Prior to the board’s vote, commissioner Hank Hopkins shared his opposition to the proposal, stating he did not feel Sierra County had sufficient services and/or opportunity to truly aid such individuals. Vice-chairman Travis Day questioned how the property would be managed into the future and indicated he was wary of the long-term commitment the property acquisition would place upon the county. While emphasizing the importance of second chances, chairman James Paxon also expressed concerns and said the board would be looking for more details and information before they could consider fully supporting the initiative.
•The February 16 session also included commission support for a renewal of the Sierra County Economic Development Organization, endorsement of a resolution supporting a road swap with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, as well as the approval of measures opposing two current House Bills and a resolution of support for the efforts of U.S. Representative Yvette Herrell.