In my previous update I warned that fiscal responsibility was temporary and the city would approve the pet projects as soon as the heat was down. Here we go: The city council came out with the agenda for the upcoming Tuesday, October 8 meeting. It included the line:
“Discussion of City Hall and consideration of Fixed Limit Cost of Construction for new City Hall of $8.5 million and total building construction cost 0f $9,970,000”
The city then quickly (within minutes) reissued an amended agenda with the line changed to a vague:
“Discussion of City Hall options”
This is reminiscent of the city using a “discussion” item (with no public comment available) to quickly make the recycling fee mandatory for everyone after assuring it would be an opt-out program. I anticipate the same move here, again without public comment.
I’ve been told that Tom Tolman was convinced by Mayor Joe Johnson to change his vote on the pet project. My guess, is that he was able to get Tolman’s vote by promising that Tolman’s pet project, the museum, would be funded.
Plan on seeing the city dump about $10 million into the buildings to satisfy local politicians’ legacies and their pet project goals. As far as the cost overrun goes, here’s the updated breakdown based on the different project start points (click here and click here for details on those):
- $750,000 to $9.97 million = 1,329% increase
- $1.5 mil to $9.97 million = 665% increase
- $2.4 mil to $9.97 million = 415% increase
Maybe this time they’ll just talk about the project but given past action, I seriously doubt that. Fool me once shame on me…
UPDATE: Some good news with a warning. The council voted (4 to 1!) to continue to “study” the city hall/museum/art project. That is a partial win but since the project is just under study, all it takes is another meeting with a “discussion” agenda item to fund the projects (also without any public input requirement).
So the projects are on hold…until they flip the switch…at any given time. As I’ve stated over and over – Stay vigilant!