Harris Building update: The fix was in

So the Linn County Board of Supervisors did what they planned to do all along, i.e., proceed with a lease-purchase agreement for the Harris Building. It was no surprise. The “fix” was in months ago! I just didn’t know it. Watch KCRG and KGAN tonight for their reports; read The Gazette online tonight and/or tomorrow for their report/opinion.

How much will the Harris Building cost? If it’s under $31.5M, the Board can brag it came under budget. Unfortunately, we won’t know the final costs under sometime in 2019 – after the November 2018 election.

Was this a good deal for the taxpayers? I don’t think so and I don’t think the Board’s staff thought so either. I requested that the Finance, Budget, and Purchasing Directors give their opinion during the public hearing and none of them came forward. Funny. If my spending had been on the agenda, all three would have been asked to comment about it. I’m guessing the Board put a gag order on them. Too bad because even though I disagree with them from time to time, I do respect their opinions. And they should have been allowed to tell the public their opinions.

Am I disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No. Will I take the time to take on another issue when I’m sure to lose? Yes, if it’s the right thing to do. And today I did the right thing. No regrets. And when the Board gets the video of today’s meeting posted online at http://linncounty.org/AgendaCenter/Board-of-Supervisors-1 you can judge for yourself. Happy New Year! -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

The attachment contains my comments and questions to the Board re the Harris Building.  Supervisor Oleson’s responses to my 12/20/2017 questions were provided at the end of the second public hearing today and they are also included in the attachment.

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