Friday, January 05, 2007

City Hall Frustrations

I've watched a portion of tonight's broadcast on the presentations about the city hall bonding issues. From what I can tell, most of our aldermen have no idea what they're talking about. They keep saying that modifying the first floor of the building to meet fire codes is not a "band-aid" or a temporary fix, that it's a permanent fix. Well, sure, new fire exits are permanent, but it doesn't solve the problems with the city hall building. There are still a lot of other repairs that need to be done, both structural and cosmetic. They go on and on about the estimated $48 million total cost, but they neglect to mention that a portion of that cost is for building a new firehouse. They also seem determined to ignore the fact that the costs are estimates, that the job specs haven't been finalized and that it hasn't been put out to bid.

It all seems very simple to me. Write up a list of the repairs that are needed. Put it out to bid. Let everyone know what the costs will be. Find the money to pay for it. Hire the appropriate contractors and make the repairs.

A comprehensive plan of improvement for all city facilities would be even better. Do a thorough inventory of all municipal buildings and their immediate and future needs. Let's start planning ahead instead of waiting until it's almost too late.

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