All opinions should matter

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By Tom Sandford

Dear Editor,

Regarding the alternate site article in the Aug. 1 Monitor, I wonder if we are heading toward yet another “let’s ignore the public’s desires” project by rushing to put the Municipal Building at Trinity and 15th Streets. I recall that public sentiment was to first renovate the now demolished Municipal Building, and if not that, to rebuild in the same location.

Now that county government is pushing ahead to build the skateboard park next to a tot lot, the public library, and the senior center, is appears to be forging ahead with action that supposedly gives the county its office space for “about $3 million” out of a project cost of “about $41 million.”

What kind of math is this? Does it mean that if the county puts up about $3 million, it will have the opportunity to rent their space from a private entity for a long, long time, or until their lease is not renewed? To quote Mr. Mortillaro, “the county would simply have office space should the Municipal Building be rebuilt at its current location,” and it would “run the county about $20 million,” as if that would be some kind of tragedy.

It seems to me that we are being herded toward an entertainment complex at Ashley Pond that will cost lots more than $20 million, by rushing to a decision to place the Municipal Building at Trinity and 15th streets.

It would be helpful to readers to know who is on the site selection review committee referenced in the Monitor’s article. Any realtors, developers, or others who might have a conflict of interest? We need to know. It appears that by Aug. 26, our county council could consummate the decision on where the Municipal Building gets located.