I listened to Pat McCarthy’s description of the process to find a home for the County offices at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. First the County concluded that a consolidated building made the most sense, then financing options were explored, and then the building costs came in. When the bid came in at $400 per square foot, nobody blinked! Never did the county consider existing building options when the stunning price became known. Not only are existing buildings available for a fraction of the cost, those so called “expensive leases” could be renegotiated if the landlords feared losing the highest credit tenant available.
McCarthy omitted discussion of a cost benefit analysis of existing building stock at reduced prices even if it would not fully consolidate all offices. Perhaps the County could keep the Assessor-Treasurer office as Mike Lonergan suggests, aggressively pursue other existing buildings for county needs (the barely used Rite-Aid building near downtown is available cheap) and hammer out rent reductions from landlords with a realistic threat of leaving if we don’t get a better deal.
The county needs to act more like business people, not bureaucrats.