Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
Attention Florence residents and those in the surrounding area. Gov. Ducey is considering closing a Florence state prison. I have some concerns and questions. Did Gov. Ducey confer with our legislators before making this decision? What happens to the employees who are assured by the Department of Corrections they will not lose their jobs? Will they be transferred to other jobs a great distance from home or new jobs locally? Will they lose their pensions, retirement and benefits? What happens to the state facility? Will they be building another private prison in Florence or nearby? Was the mayor and Town Council advised or consulted before this decision was made?
Our District 8 state legislators consider this out-of-the-box thinking, worthy of more consideration. I ask, what of the cost to families who are forced to move out of the city for work or who must travel out of the area to their new jobs? What is the cost to the town of Florence's economy, which is partially built around the state prison?
More questions than answers and much to be decided. I hope as residents of the surrounding area we are kept informed about this important issue. Are we really saving money or just moving money around? We deserve to know the truth.
The writer is a Democratic candidate for state House in Legislative District 8.