(Springfield, MO) -- The groundwork is relayed for finding a way to fix Greene County's floundering judicial system.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Viebrock reaffirmed his resolve to search options outside of an additional tax.
The county held a Criminal Justice Funding Task Force meeting Tuesday and the conversations weren't necessarily smooth.
Now the the people who are pushing for a 1/4-cent sales tax know their first step to finding more money for the overpopulated jail and overworked prosecutors office.
"You're going to have to indulge me a little bit, or work though my objections, until we're ready to take that next step," says Viebrock. "This tax is what you're resolved to do. I am not with you at this time."
Viebrock is one of the few opposed to a recommendation to put the tax before voters. The tax would raise $10 million a year. The cash would be used to hire more jailers and prosecutors.
"I'm not going to flippantly say we need more money, we need more money," he says.
Instead, Viebrock called for the sheriff and prosecutor to go back and look over their departments.
"Part of what I'm trying to do today is reopen their minds to some other opportunities than just running this tax."
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott countered Viebrock's vision with frustration.
"Put all your cards on the table," he says. "Let's talk about it. Let's work through it. Then come out and make your statement that I'm not for a tax. It doesn't matter what it is."
While most expected a level of resistance, Viebrock urged the importance to end the political bickering that's persisted during these talks.
"We have a serious issues here. Let's deal with this as adults."
Viebrock says his checklist of things he needs satisfied before putting his stamp approval on any tax could be as long as 15 items. He says he will only release them as he sees fit, and as long as county office holders are cooperating.
Viebrock says he was hired by voters to do what he's doing: exhaust all resources before asking for money.
The Criminal Justice Funding Task Force plans to meet again in the beginning of October.
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