City chambers still being remodeled – what happened to those Hooker Oak benches?

28 Jun

New sheet glass doors installed in city chambers – as part of a technology upgrade?

I went down to City Hall to take in a Finance Committee meeting yesterday morning. I hadn’t been at the chambers for a month or so and I was shocked when I entered. The lobby had got a major remodel. For no reason I can figure. 

I’m sorry these pictures are grainy, but I think you can see what I’m talking about. Go down and take a look for yourself.

Fant-cee schmant-cee!

 

Here you see there’s nothing wrong with the old brick paneling.

And two brand new faux (?) leather sofas? 

The first thing my son said when I showed him this picture was “What happened to the old Hooker Oak benches?”  Good question Boy O!

Yeah, what happened to the perfectly good benches that had been made out of chunks of the old Hooker Oak, which the city sold to a furniture maker? And I believe they bought the benches back from same furniture maker. They were beautiful, and part of our city’s heritage. 

City clerk Debbie Presson told me the chamber remodel – complete with new everything – was paid for with franchise fees from our Comcast bills.  Yes, you pay extra for cable so city staffers can treat themselves to Taj Majal surroundings. Presson reported the remodel was necessitated by necessary technical upgrades. Once the job started, they had trouble finding the wires, apparently, and the entire chambers had to be torn to pieces and replaced with high-end paneling, flooring and furniture. 

But she didn’t tell me that would include further renovations to the lobby. I wonder if she had to ask council for another supplemental allocation – a couple of months ago she had to go to council for permission to spend $25,000 more than the original estimate.

You realize, there are working people in our town who live on less than $25,000? 

I went to the meeting, as I explained yesterday, to hear what they were proposing in the way of a bond on our homes, supposedly for street improvements. Given the way Presson rationalized a complete, high end remodel of chambers over a little bit of rewiring, I’ll tell you what, they will rationalize spending that bond money any damned way they please.

 

 

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5 Responses to “City chambers still being remodeled – what happened to those Hooker Oak benches?”

  1. Jim June 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm #

    It’s odd, they didn’t have the money to maintain the Shapiro pool, but got money for stuff like this.

    • Juanita Sumner June 28, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks Jim, I hope other people begin to ask that kind of question.

  2. bob June 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

    And two brand new faux (?) leather sofas?

    Maybe the bums will come in and sleep on them.

    It’s ridiculous they spent all that money when a remodel was not at all needed and when they can’t even maintain the roads!

    But what do they care, it’s not their money and they figure there’s always plenty more where it came from. Just look at the garbage tax increase, fee increases and now their talk of raising the sales tax or floating another bond.

    • bob June 28, 2018 at 3:08 pm #

      And they can always jack up their “franchise fees” on Comcast and other companies and the vast majority of the public will be none the wiser.

      • Juanita Sumner June 28, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

        We have to remind the voters how our city and the state have squandered our money.

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