There are so many press releases coming out of City Hall these days chronicling every bit of minutiae that is directed out of 9th and Dakota.
The latest breaking news at City Hall is the new recently modeled offices of the Community Development Department. The Mayor created a second office for his newly appointed director, Darrin Smith. The Mayor has changed Smith's duties from just expanding affordable housing and public parking to economic development and downtown development. A big job for someone who has no economic development or planning experience.
Every other director had to pare down their budgets but the Mayor redirects $18,000 to window dress Smith's new office. The cost to renovate this second office and buy some new furniture was $18,000 which I bet wasn't even in the budget. Something had to be cut from Community Development and Facilities Management to come up with this unbudgeted amount.
Huether said the cost to renovate the space is a "prudent use of taxpayer dollars," considering the expense. "Darrin and his team, they're going to help close multimillion dollar deals for the city and for these new companies, and you at least want to have an environment that is conducive to that," Huether said. Well, guess what folks - a lot of money has been expended twice already to renovate the Mayor's suite of offices for the very reason Huether cites as his reason to spend taxpayer dollars on this new office for Smith.
What a waste of taxpayer dollars. Window dressing seems to be more important than program services priorities or staffing needs.