My topic this week is the county’s offer to move City Hall into the county building.
It seems mighty generous of the county to donate land for the court and police station with little to no rent to house the city offices in the county building. It is not everyday the city receives a free offer, but is it a good move for Sandusky? Would Sandusky lose its identity?
In these trying times of thinking outside the box for revenue, government entities have to look for where they can get the most out of their tax dollars. There is so much talk about merging services with other entities to save money, but at what point does merging become annexation without proper representation?
As for Sandusky’s move to the county building, it will cost us. People can donate money and land but there are still expenses in the way of consultants to pull it all off. One consultant can easily make $200,000 a year when trying to get a project off the ground.
With the budget the way it is, how does the city obtain the money to pay the consultants? An income tax increase does come to mind. How do you get an income tax passed? The city can tell the voters it needs to cut staff and services in order to persuade the taxpayer that the income tax levy must be passed. Presently, the city is in need of the basic essentials to keep the city running, but if the city does decided to move City Hall, extra money will be needed.
Will the city fall into the same situation that Perkins is in now? Perkins built a brand new police station and then threatens to lay off all their police officers if the police levy doesn’t pass because they have no money to staff the new station.
There are a lot of questions about the move and the devil is in the details. For one, I don’t wish to see my police department or municipal court located in Perkins Township. These operations belong in Sandusky. Annex us but don’t deceive us in the name of merging.
Secondly, the city will have their offices scattered all over the area from the Service Center to Perkins Township and out to the county building, forget about one stop shopping. Everyone will be chased all over the place to conduct any business with the city. The city would be maintaining separate buildings instead of housing all the operations under one roof for ease of maintenance and other expenses. The school just got through merging their buildings for the same reason.
Until next week, nothing in life is free so I hope the city will proceed with caution when dealing with the county. When it looks too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true. The word “free” has proven to be deceiving, just ask Huron Schools when they hired the free attorney.