Almost always in transit during the hours that
    the local AM talk radio show airs, I sent the host
    the below email once off the road. Discussion
    centered on the notion that the two Dem
    commissioners will make up and the Dunbar
    Township, in so many words, jail project could

    Will what the radio host and his caller say be
    how this plays out?

    Is the strained relationships between the two
    Dem commissioners, in a nutshell, no more
    than a common "rift" typical for two people
    working closely together, inevitably, to
    experience at some time?

    Nobody here thinks so, but we'll certainly see.

    Julie Toye
    Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM



    I heard your thoughts on the 3 commissioners
    working with the jail ad hoc work group. You said the
    group needed to share their reports with the 3

    Just one problem with that. Under a Right To Know
    request, I obtained those "reports."  Of the 450 pages
    or so that I received, fewer than 20 pages were actual
    reports generated by that large group, subdivided into
    4 groups.

    Of the 20 pages, there were no reports at all written
    from 2 groups (the behavioral health group and the

    Some of the 20 pages were letters, for instance, from
    the former controller to the Army Reserve, trying to
    buy that building and sway the brass from selling it to
    Uniontown Hospital. Most were pages that Jim
    Killinger wrote, described meetings with contractors
    (a professional service that needs bids for
    discussion) and were essentially of no real use.

    The balance of the 400+ pages were things such as
    website copies of construction companies, such as
    the Dick Corp from Elizabeth and copies of the state
    budget. I kid you not.

    The most worthwhile document in the whole bundle
    was the program proposal for Genesis House. I am
    impressed with the proposal for it.

    Otherwise, there really isn't a whole lot of value that
    the jail ad hoc committee generated even though the
    group first convened in October or November of 2012.

    Here's a run down in more detail of what the 450+
    pages contained. http://www.julietoye.

    Since that time, I obtained both of the geo-technical
    land surveys done in recent years on that land. I've
    also obtained old survey maps from the 1930s after
    the DEP had no records to explain how or when the
    drainage to Gist Run was altered.

    I don't know any of the commissioners well, but I
    believe that there was no decision on Zap's part to
    end the jail project in Dunbar Township because of a
    rift between him and Ambrosini. I disagree with you
    on that much.

    I truly believe for the first time since the process
    started that Zapotosky actually read the reports,
    questioned why Ambrosini told the public for 2.5 mos
    he had not received the second report when he had.
    Probably, too, from having worked for the late Frank
    Mascara, Zap has a better understanding than
    Ambrosini does of County Codes, regulations and
    law. I'm not knocking the guy, but I really believe he
    was not at work much (neither is Ambrosini), hadn't
    read anything and believed everything Ambrosini told
    him until he started to hear how much it will cost to
    stabilize the land, etc. At no public meetings of the
    county commissioners and at no public meetings of
    the county prison board ever was there any
    discussion about including a juvenile detention jail on
    the site or needing a second story until it came to the
    planning commission.

    One comment that Ambrosini made on your show a
    few weeks ago is still discussed by people I know.
    That he believes we need group homes for many of
    our inmates. OK, I agree. Why isn't there active
    movement now to get the MH/MR ones out to group
    homes then?

    I give Zap more credit than perhaps you do of waking
    up, getting his own copies of things, reading, and
    realizing that the planning was not done right. He's a
    smart man when he puts his mind to it. He knows
    other counties that built big jails have lots of empty

    Ambrosini's dream to rent the cages out are not
    thought out enough, either. He toured Franklin
    County's newer jail that Crabtree built, but even the
    warden there wrote to me and felt that the message
    on Ambrosini was lost.

    Franklin incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in
    overtime driving inmates from their rented cages to
    Harrisburg for hearings. It ended 2013 with about 80
    empty cells.

    Recently when I checked, they had about 40 empty
    cells, and were waiting to have about 20 others
    transferred to state prisons. All Ambrosini wants to
    see there is that Franklin took in about $900K one
    year in rentals (but again, deduct what they lost to
    pay overtime to keep those rented cages in
    transportation to Harrisburg.).

    If there's such a profit in renting out cages, Franklin
    County's jail would be full or near full each day since
    it was built.

    In that respect of doing due diligence, Zap's smarter
    than Ambrosini is. It's more than a rift.

    Have a great weekend!

During that AM talk radio
discussion referenced on the
right, it was stated that a third
party, more or less, took no
more active a role in the jail
planning process except to
be a casual bystander.

While the minority
commissioner did not
participate in the county jail
ad hoc committee work group
meetings to avoid Sunshine
Act violations from being
imposed, she did her

She asked more than once
for a 5th public meeting to
discuss options to building an
all-new jail. She also asked
for and received a second
yes vote in 2013, from the
commish chair, that the 3
commissioners would meet
for work sessions, reviewing
what information was given
to them from the county jail
ad hoc committee work group.

Never happened.

It's unfair to make that kind of
blanket statement on a radio
show, given that she drew up
an alternative option last year
to get pre-constructed
buildings placed behind the
current courthouse jail to
accommodate inmates.

The problem would have
been solved at this time if
someone had listened to her.

A few more portable buildings
such as ones state prisons
and other correctional
facilities are using, offer a
quick solution for over

Especially when something
so practical, adding a few
more building cubes as soon
as possible, quickly could
provide desperately needed
space for therapies,
educational enrichment
programs, release planning,
vocational training, etc.,

Fayette missed the boat by
ignoring the minority
commissioner's plan  and the
low dollar numbers plan that
members of the Referendum

Lets hear them and lets hear
all of Commissioner
Zapotosky's ideas before we
conclude it's best to revisit
the pyrites in Dunbar

22Aug 14
We're really talking about...
AM talk radio?
Editor's Note: In paragraph 3
on the right, in the blue
background email, I mentioned
that no work group reports
were included in a RTK answer
seeking county jail ad hoc
work group reports for the
behavioral health and court

Subsequent RTK requests to
learn the number of county
inmates incarcerated with
behavioral health issues,
veterans status, and
non-violent offenders came
back with "We don't know"

Seriously, they didn't know.
These guys are a hoot, no?

How can anyone plan a jail, a
rehabilitation program,
umpteen treatment models and
NOT know the demographics
of the people incarcerated at
the county jail?