I attended a NorCo Budget hearing yesterday, but could only take it for two hours before I got up and left. I'm getting old and was still tired from Election Day. They may still be there as I write. I did learn the following:
- NorCo's No Cash Bail is working. - Judge Craig Dally and Court Administrator Jermaine Greene explained that a pretrial services officer arrives every morning at 6 am to do a risk assessment on overnight arrests, and makes recommendations. It has eliminated the problem of low level offenders languishing in jail, which costs the county money. But Judge Dally said that the safety of the public is the paramount concern. He added that many of these people have engaged in domestic violence.
- NorCo's Drug Court is working. - This is an 18-month program for defendants who have already been convicted. Judge Dally reported that 51 participants are currently enrolled, with four applications pending. Over its existence, 45 people have been removed from the drug court program, which is very arduous. But he has had 17 graduates, with another scheduled for today. Of those who graduate, the recidivism rate is about 20%.
- McClure Eliminating Two DCED Positions. - Executive Lamont McClure explained his decision to eliminate two positions from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). He would like DCED to work more on community development. He added that he may eventually approach Council for a grant writer to help municipalities and small businesses.
- DCED and Lead Paint. - One of DCED's programs is to fund contractors to eradicate lead paint in homes with children aged 1-6 who have elevated lead levels. The average age of a LV home is 53 years, before it was known that lead is a problem. Fifty children are on awaiting list. The plan is to remediate 30 homes per year. Lead testing for children in Pa. is voluntary.