Columbus County commissioners approve...

Columbus County commissioners approve new jail food service contract

Posted in the Whiteville Forum

Reece Watkins

Whiteville, NC

#1 Sep 5, 2012
Anything introduced by Sheriff Chris Batten should be looked at very closely. Most likely Batten's numbers are skewed and the validity of his introduction could simply be either proven or thrown out after a year. If this is like the Batten we all have came to know, follow the money as there is some personal benefit to him in the woods.

What happened: Commissioners approved Tuesday night turning over food service at the Columbus County Detention Center to a private Florida company, a move Sheriff Chris Batten said should save nearly $175,000 in the next year.

Why it matters: Feeding an average inmate population of 160 to 169 people for a year cost county government more than $409,000 last year, Batten told commissioners. Five private food service providers were interviewed, Batten said, with that list narrowed to three, then to Trinity, which offered the lowest per meal cost.

Batten said that, barring changes in the inmate population, Trinity's annual charge to the county should be less than $235,000 per year.

Tom Phillips, Trinity's regional manager for North Carolina and Virginia, said the company makes it a practice of retaining employees when it takes over jail feeding operations, and hopes to do that in Columbus County.

Trinity also operates jail canteen services, and Batten said he is negotiating with the company to transfer those operations from county employees.

Other business: Commissioners agreed to allow the sheriff to accept a Governor's Highway Safety Program grant to add two deputies to the department's highway safety team.

Batten said he will use drug forfeiture funds to pay for half the $30,000 match required this year. He noted that the savings from the Trinity cafeteria contract would more than cover the $150,000 total cost to the county during the next four years.

- Deuce Niven
MRs

Whiteville, NC

#2 Dec 27, 2012
Yeah. I recall Sheriff Batten with his scheme of trying to rent Danny Duncan's former Eastside Pawn Shop building. The good Sheriff made a presentation to the County whereby Duncan, a jailor, would be paid by the County while the Sheriff used the building. The County never went for that and now we see where Duncan is no longer a jailor but in federal prison for activities he performed while working for the "good" sheriff.
Rufus

United States

#3 Dec 28, 2012
"Anything introduced by Sheriff Chris Batten should be looked at very closely. Most likely Batten's numbers are skewed and the validity of his introduction could simply be either proven or thrown out after a year. If this is like the Batten we all have came to know, follow the money as there is some personal benefit to him in the woods."

I think anything Sheriff Christopher Lee Batten proposes should be looked at based on his reputation, dirty dealings and overall attitude. The money should be followed and audited as much as possible. We all know how the Sheriff has mislead the county commissioners in the past. He and one of those commissioners seems to benefit from other county contracts as shown in the news media previously.
Pay attention

Nashville, TN

#4 Dec 30, 2012
Rufus wrote:
"Anything introduced by Sheriff Chris Batten should be looked at very closely. Most likely Batten's numbers are skewed and the validity of his introduction could simply be either proven or thrown out after a year. If this is like the Batten we all have came to know, follow the money as there is some personal benefit to him in the woods."
I think anything Sheriff Christopher Lee Batten proposes should be looked at based on his reputation, dirty dealings and overall attitude. The money should be followed and audited as much as possible. We all know how the Sheriff has mislead the county commissioners in the past. He and one of those commissioners seems to benefit from other county contracts as shown in the news media previously.
you guys are a joke how can someone benefit from saving money on a county budget. Wake up. If u propose a change that will save money that means the money u saved u dont get so how can Batten get that money. They don't give him hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and say spent it wisely and what u don't spend is yours. Ha ha. Y'all are stupid.
Tweadle Dee

United States

#6 Jan 5, 2013
But let's talk about our not-so-honest reputable sheriff Chris Batten. I invite anyone to Google sheriff Chris Batten and see what sort of reputation the not-so-good sheriff has amassed. He is a cross section of Columbus County's reputation over the last several decades.Though he's only been around for a few terms, he has done so much to live up to the Columbus County Corruption name that we have become defined by. Arrogant, nasty, body-odored bully. He runs his department like he acted in school. This county needs term limits and fast. One of the head commissioners Buddy Byrd was just arrested last year in Horry County while another came out in the paper making money off of Waste Management, a group contracted with the county. And what of the Department of Aging director who had missing almost a million from his budget? Nothing, absolutely nothing was ever done. "Cuz" used his position, and county money, to promote an elected official- a felony. That too was swept under the rug. Gotta love Columbus County and the crooks it employs..

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