Our view: No name needed for jail
When we heard that there was talk of changing the Sweetwater County Detention Center’s name we thought, why?
The name obviously fits the use of the facility so why change it.
Then, we heard a recommendation was made that it be called the Gary Bailiff Detention Center.
Once again, the question was why?
Yes. Gary Bailiff was a Sweetwater County Sheriff; and did some great things during that time, but to have a facility named after him we think is setting a precedent we don’t want to set. We know Bailiff was the driving force behind getting the county to build a new jail, which allows deputies to be safer, but still we are not sure if a building named after him is the right choice.
Just think of it. Soon, all government facilities will change their names too.
We could have the Dean Makie Senior Center, the Jere Ryckman Courthouse, the Tom Wilson stadium, the Hank Castillon clock tower, the Randy Walker Aquatic Center the Brenda Roosa Recreation Center. We could go on and on, but we think our readers get the point.
While there are so many people, who do great things in our community, we don’t think their names need to be put on a government, taxpayer-owned building.
Why should we allow a task force to determine the name of the building? It is owned by the tax payers; and as such we think we should get to vote on a name change.
We seem to recall some these same arguments came from the Sweetwater County Commissioners themselves when one of the suggestions for the Sweetwater County Health and Human Services building was the Joe Oldfield Health and Human Services building. At that time, the commissioners stated they didn’t want to start a precedent in naming county buildings after a particular person. We agreed with their decision then; and think they should use that same logic in addressing this name-change issue.
If we really want to rename the jail, then why not pick name it after Sweetwater County’s first sheriff, John Boyd, or we could name it after one of Sweetwater County’s most famous outlaw Butch Cassidy.
There are other ways we could honor Bailiff. We could put a bench in front of the Sweetwater County Detention Center with his name engraved on it, however, we think a bench in front of the courthouse would be a better location. Or the county could start a list of names of those who deserve recognition for their service and put them on a plaque displayed at the courthouse.