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Lynn Morgan
07/10/2014 2:54 PM

Now that the Grand Jury report has been finalized, I must comment on both Supervisor Novelli’s guest commentary of June 6 and Ms. Lori Jagoda’s letter to the editor of June 27 regarding the Health and Human Services building lease.

The results of the Grand Jury report show an astounding lack of openness and appropriate government transparency in the facts related to this HHS lease. The following facts should cause Amador County citizens some concern.

The original lease for the building signed in 2006 included rent at a rate well above standard rates at the time. Why was this approved?

The lease was amended in 2008 (when four of the five current supervisors were in office) to “take a bad lease and make it worse.” The term of the lease was extended by five years and the termination clause was eliminated, sticking the taxpayers with the high cost. There is no record that the board ever publicly discussed this amendment or the millions of dollars in additional rent it would cost the taxpayers over the extended term of the lease.

Meanwhile, Public Health Department staff numbers were being dramatically reduced, contrary to the County’s promise to improve community-wide health. In particular, the number of public health nurses has dropped by nearly half.

Shouldn’t the BOS ask our CAO and county counsel to reopen negotiations with the landlord, appealing to the owner’s sense of community best interest to recreate a fair, reasonable lease? In these tight budget times, this county simply cannot give up and continue to pay these millions of dollars per year to lease the HHS building while our Public Health Department budget is constrained as a result. The supervisors owe us all an explanation, and even more, they owe us action to solve the problem. Now.

Lynn Morgan

Pioneer

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
Mark Markham
07/13/2014 11:05 AM
Unfortunately you need to understand the process. The BoS response to the report will be to invoke confidentiality under GC1098 and promise to write a procurement procedure (some day). Case closed. The buck stops with the voters!
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