Working Conditions Improving In Jackson County Government Offices

Just a few hundred yards away from the civic center, the Jackson County Planning Department is open for business. Planning Director Michele Coats says her department moved into the double wide on Friday.

"We've got a window, our own rest room facilities, our own space. It's quieter, much quieter. We got used to the noise, but honestly, sometimes you just couldn't hear," Coats says.

Coats says she sees signs of improvement already.

"Check back with us in six months, we may be killing each other," Coats laughs.

Back at the sheriff's office, there's no new move to brighten spirits. Dispatch is still working from a bus.

"We have been reduced, to nothing," an employee says.

Captain Mick Sears says the county's criminal investigators are having to work in tight conditions too.

"I've got two or three workspaces for 6 investigators. They're right in the same area where the records phones are ringing, so you can't hear anything. You can't concentrate," Sears says.

And most of the criminal files are still in the old office four stories up.

"Inconvenient, but I guess they are getting exercise too," Sears laughs. "It's a challenge."

Although the temporary conditions have a way of keeping paperwork backed up, Sears says nothing will affect the Sheriff's Department's number one job.

"They're following up on cases, developing leads, they are arresting people and putting them in jail," Sears says.