County Manager Thaddeus Lucero said the move would allow the government to consolidate its offices — now spread across a handful of Downtown locations — into one spot. Several real estate professionals said the new location would be more convenient.
"We can do it at no additional cost to the taxpayer," Lucero said. "This is a smart idea."
We first told you about the purchase a week before the commission rushed the issue to a vote. The county has not even made a compelling case that it needs a new facility or studied the fiscal impact of the purchase.
The tenants "have some very serious concerns," Campbell said. "There hasn't been the kind of public discussion you usually require for spending tens of millions of dollars on public improvements."By the way, these are the same tenants that the county is counting on to pay for the project over the first three years. Our guess is these tenants will be vacating the premises as soon as their leases allow leaving the county... well, us holding the bag. And let's face it; the county would be a terrible landlord - especially since it intends to occupy the property as soon as the current tenants are out.
(Sidebar)The only commissioner who seems to be able to resist the temptation to spend our money is Commissioner Brasher. In this vote - like many others - he was the lone voice asking for the county to justify its need for the property.
Another little problem we have with the move is that it creates space over at the City/County Government Center. Just what we need, more space for the city. There must be a law somewhere that in every instance government will expand to fill the facilities it owns just like the sun always must rise in the east. If nothing else we need the county to stay put simply to keep the size of the city at bay.
We can think of a lot of areas where the county could spend over $42 MILLION - like a jail expansion, or on aging county fire equipment. Instead, four county commissioners (Armijo, Archuletta, Cummins, and Cordova) are ready to spend our money on a new home for themselves while the westside jail overflows and fire equipment breaks down.
It seems that history is repeating itself... only this time the county will spend $42 MILLION without our consent and without making a convincing argument that they need the facility.
----- Correction -----
We originally posted that the new county building would be on the November ballot... Is our Eye red! We were wrrrrong... It's a done deal and voters will not have an opportunity to weigh in on the purchase. FYI - The Eye Poll is running 2 to 1 against the purchase.