In All Their Infinite Wisdom…

In January, THE BUZZ reported the city’s plans to close its North Natomas permit office located adjacent to Arco Arena and reopen in a space off Richards Boulevard.

The Sac Bee reports this morning:

The Public Eye: ‘Cost-saving move’ soaks city for $500,000

Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, July 31, 2008
Story appeared in OUR REGION section, Page B1

It sounded like a good idea: Move Sacramento’s Development Services Department out of a leased building and into a city-owned structure at 300 Richards Boulevard.

Until you know the cost.

The department, which issues permits and building information, moved to its new home in March. But the lease for its Arco Boulevard home in North Natomas doesn’t expire until next March. As the city hasn’t been able to break its contract or sublease the building, it’s out a half-million dollars – the cost of a year’s rent.

“We’re still in discussions, but the market isn’t so terrific,” said Reina Schwartz, the agency’s director.

In the private sector, the problem might have been a deal killer. But it didn’t stop the department’s move. Neither did the City Council, because department staff members didn’t mention the glitch when they asked for approval.

Schwartz said the move gets the city out of leased space and to a better location.

But California Common Cause’s Christina Lokke pointed to the city’s huge budget deficits.

“The city’s out a half-million dollars when the whole point was to save money,” Lokke asked. “The timing on this couldn’t be worse.”

– Terri Hardy

Seriously, is it any wonder why our city suffers budget woes?

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