Letter to the Editor: Inyo Supervisor says no to county complex

Shakespeare had it right when he said “Neither a borrower nor a lender be;” That is if you want to live free. Apparently the Board of Supervisors  of Inyo County is not familiar with this famous quote. Another piece of sage advice Goes: .” Gold is the coin of kings, Silver is the coin of gentlemen, Barter is the coin of peasants, Debt is the coin of slaves.”

In the face of the worst economic downturn since the great depression, the Board of Supervisors voted four to one to enter into an agreement to move forward with plans to build a new county complex located in Bishop. The County doesn’t have the money to build the facility; so pull out the taxpayers’ credit card and charge it. The cost to build the 42,000 sq. ft. building ranges from 15 million to 24 million depending on who you want to believe. My 35 years of experience building public works projects tells me that cost over runs are the norm rather than the exception.

Inyo County has approximately 18,000 residents, that equates to about 6,000 Families, if you do the math, the projected building cost divided by families, you come up with a debt burden per family of somewhere between $2,500.00 and $ 4,000.00 dollars. This comes at a time when many people in my district are struggling to put food on the table. Add to this the $49,500.00 the Federal government says we owe and you see why our children, grand children, and great grand children will be working for China, the largest holder of US debt.

Hopefully the people in their collective wisdom will see the folly of this project and demand that it be shelved until such time that the County has sufficient funds to build it.

Sincerely,
Richard Cervantes Supervisor 5th District

, , , , ,

20 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bpgolfer
bpgolfer
10 years ago

Well Steve, out of the 18,000 who live in Inyo County at least 15,000 live in Big Pine and Bishop. That is where the population center is. May be you should move to the northern end of InyoCounty.

Steve Reese
Steve Reese
10 years ago
Reply to  bpgolfer

bpgolfer, I have been working on the Owens Lake dust project for 12 years. So I live close to work and will not be moving to Bishop. The problem is the money that is available is all being spent in Bishop. I have no problem with Bishop being the population… Read more »

JJ
JJ
10 years ago

Steve- I’m with you on your point of view, but easy on us reg. bishop folks. I think the money should go to all our schools. Maybe the fire dept. should get a little bit also. One new building and new court house just means more vacant buildings. We are… Read more »

Steve Reese
Steve Reese
10 years ago
Reply to  JJ

JJ, sorry for the bad jab at Bishop being selfish. I am a Southern Inyo resident and getting tired of so many projects slated for Northern Inyo,(ie, hospital, courthouse, county buildings and airport). This moving of Inyo Co. jobs more and more to Bishop will make it almost impossible for… Read more »

Jon
Jon
10 years ago

The county currently spends about $500,000 a year to rent office space in Bishop. Apply that rent money to pay off a new building and there is no need for a bond or debt (even with the historically low interest rates currently available). So, the county can continue to spend… Read more »

Dee
Dee
10 years ago
Reply to  Jon

And the sad thing is this isn’t really a new issue, it has been batted around for years but the board of supervisors has decided to waste that money on rent instead of investing in a building the county would eventually own. Not very smart, some might call it lazy.… Read more »

JeniferCastaneda
JeniferCastaneda
10 years ago

Daris, I completely agree. Myself and others filed a voter’s initiative stating that any expenditure of $5 million or more go to a vote of the people. County Counsel sued us and the initiative was ruled unconstitutional. The supervisors say that they are going to have meetings for public input… Read more »

Daris
Daris
10 years ago

Jane E you have it absolutely right let this matter be decided by the voters of Inyo County it is our money. We have been told that we will have a chance to address the matter only after numerous closed negotiations. Why waste the money if the voters of Inyo… Read more »

Steve Reese
Steve Reese
10 years ago

This is like feeding a black hole thinking you will get something out of it. All of Inyo Co. needs investment not just Bishop. If you only have a little to go around it is not right to give it to only one town. Please take care of the whole… Read more »

JJ
JJ
10 years ago

Wow, I agree. Our tax money should go to the schools. Not to two Judges and over paid city planners.

JaneE
JaneE
10 years ago

If the county issues taxpayer approved bonds to pay for the construction, they can add the debt service to the existing property tax rate. If you save up the money, it has to come out of the current property tax rate. If there were only 6,000 property tax payers in… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  JaneE

Have you looked at a current property tax bill..
Is there really any more room for another Bond measure.
Don’t you think the property owners HAVE to pay enough already?

Get real Sheeple.
Say no to ANY more taxes.

JaneE
JaneE
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

The point is, there is a mechanism for the people to decide how they want to finance major projects. Most capital improvements are funded by bonded indebtedness, whether or not they are put to a vote. My tax bill already contains school and hospital debt service. You could even have… Read more »

skier
skier
10 years ago
Reply to  JaneE

Personally, I think my property tax is plenty high and I don’t want to pay any “extra”.

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago

THANK YOU SIR

A sane voice in the county

Now lets go spend 100 billion for a bullet train
NOT…

GGW

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago

Well said Mr.Richard Cervantes….coming from your 2001 fence painter…….

skier too
skier too
10 years ago

All good points Mr. Cervantes, however the other 4 Supervisors know how to complete the equation. You left out the important part of how much it costs to lease the buildings for the various services at the current rate, over time, the leases would end up costing the taxpayers more… Read more »

skier
skier
10 years ago
Reply to  skier too

The children and grandchildren couldn’t give a bleep about the county offices being paid off. IF that ever happened, I’m sure it would be around the same time they would become “inadequate” and need expensive refurbishing. Plus, I for one hope for REDUCED govt. in the near future.

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  skier

Buy or rent .. give the money we spend on current rent (leases) to land lords who take the money and run. Or buy the building (complex) Build it, and provide some jobs and stimulus to the county in doing so. Isn’t it better to own something rather to rent… Read more »

skier
skier
10 years ago

But Mr. Cervantes, you didn’t vote against giving Carunchio a fat raise, now he makes 4 times the median income of Inyo County, what’s the difference?