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DENVER-Denver mayoral candidate Elizabeth Schlosser wants the current mayor, Wellington E. Webb, to halt negotiations to buy the Rocky Mountain News building. That would leave it for the next administration to tear it down and finance a new Justice Center on the site that would include a jail.

“I know we need a jail,” Schlosser tells GlobeSt.com. “But I don’t think it is right to spend $16 million, buy the land and let the next mayor figure how to finance it. I’ve talked to several city council members, police and public safety members, and they all want a new jail. But they do not know about the business side of it.”

Schlosser tells GlobeSt.com she realizes many in the city “are all in a panic that the federal courts will require us to build a new jail,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “But I think if we are deliberating on it, I would guess a judge would be reasonable about giving us some time.”

Webb, who had yet to see a letter from Schlosser, chuckled when GlobeSt.com told him about it.

“I think between now and June (when his third term ends), I’ll be given a lot of advice by each of the candidates running for mayor on what I should be doing and what I should not be doing,” he says. “I think I’ll leave it at that.”

But city council woman Susan Barnes-Gelt, says Schlosser is right.

“I know that Wellington Webb thinks we need a commitment for a new building,” Gelt tells GlobeSt.com. “But he is talking about building a facility that is not big enough, so we will have to run two facilities. The current one on Smith Road has some serious expansion problems, and the same would be true about the Rocky Mountain News site. And in 10 or 15 years, we could have a jail sitting on some very expensive real estate.

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