The Harrisonburg city council ratcheted up pressure on the Rockingham County sheriff regarding the $1-a-day “keep fee” at the local jail. After a lengthy discussion about wording and efficacy, the council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday evening to formally ask Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson to “examine the possibility of eliminating the $1-day jail fee.”
Harrisonburg’s total cost to prosecute, try and incarcerate people has risen by $1.8 million – roughly 29 percent – over the past five years, according to city finance documents.
City council members voted unanimously to table a proposed ordinance that would prohibit pedestrians from lingering in the medians at seven major intersections, after a heated public discussion that stretched Tuesday’s meeting beyond four-and-a-half hours.
A tiny fraction of the proposed $274 million city budget amounts to a big deal for community groups that have been calling for reforms in the local criminal justice system.