Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio unveiled a plan Tuesday to avoid airport parking fees by transporting inmates on the Metro light rail, but officials claim that parking is already free.
Arpaio said he planned to transport extradited inmates using the light rail from 44th and Washington streets to the Fourth Avenue Jail in order to eliminate parking fees at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. MCSO estimates that the new system can save about $72,000 in transport fees.
A couple of points here -
- The MCSO doesn't actually pay parking fees when transporting prisoners.
From later in the article linked above -
"If they need to come to the airport and pick up or transport a prisoner, they can still do that for free,” Sky Harbor spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez said.
- "$72,000"??? The first time a prisoner gets loose and injures a civilian on a light rail car (or the first time that one of Arpaio's deputies goes Rambo in his zeal to subdue a prisoner and shoots up a light rail car and a few civilians), it's going to cost Maricopa County taxpayers one hell of a lot more than $72,000.
A couple of questions -
- Does Arpaio owe a favor to some of the anti-light rail folks? Because as heavily used as it is, nothing will destroy light rail's popularity more thoroughly than turning it into an MCSO shooting gallery.
- If Arpaio's $72,000 figure on how much he spends on airport parking is accurate, and the airport staff is accurate when they say that law enforcement agencies can park for free when transporting prisoners, what is MCSO spending the $72K on? Longterm parking for its junkets to Honduras?
Anyway, time to go to a rally. Hope to see you all there!