The High Price of Building Our Future

It may have been expensive, but it sure was unnecessary…

I watched this little gem of a clip from Bill Maher’s cable show last night. Bill rails against the added cost laden on to stuff simply because people can get away with it it.

In particular Maher notes the exorbitant cost of government projects, namely housing for the homeless and infrastructure where the “soft costs” including the inevitable army of “consultants” and lobbyists drives up the cost to absurdly comical levels. For the cost of building an “affordable” housing unit you could easily buy some homeless dude a condominium.

For those of us paying attention in Fullerton we have seen this in spades:

Five million bucks for a couple of traction elevators at the depot. Two million bucks for some crappy, rickety wood stairs at Hillcrest Park. The better part of a million bucks for a decorative bridge over the muddy ditch known as Brea Creek. Etc, etc., etc. The fact that these vanity efforts were totally unnecessary just adds insult to the injurious price tag.

The fact is that government building projects are grossly over-managed. There are architects and engineers galore; there are construction managers; there are general contractor’s project managers and superintendents coming out of the woodwork. And then there are the government’s “project managers” who manage virtually nothing but have blanketed themselves with warm layers of external “expertise” to insulate themselves against the inevitable sideways momentum of their next disaster.

Meanwhile the politicians who are elected to watch out for our interests are too lazy, ignorant, indifferent, or self-interested to give a damn.


6 Replies to “The High Price of Building Our Future”

  1. Let’s ask Roger Torriero and Griffin Structures why the elevator and dilapitaed wood stairs were so effed up. They got paid a lot of money to do something except watch the grass grow, right?

    1. i remember when this was voted in a few years ago. It seem that the elevators where going to be payed with money from outside the city from redevelopment. They may have gone over budget however.

      1. The money was supposed to come from the State and later from OCTA – no accountability money, although in Fullerton there’s no accountability for Capital Fund money, either. The thing dragged on year after painful year until the City had to cough up over half a million from its OWN funds with no competent explanation about where it was being spent – and still no questions from the City Council, Whitaker and Sebourn were mysteriously silent, too.

        It took 8 years from inspiration to completion of a couple of elevators that nobody needed. Meanwhile the existing ones are still graffiti marred and the tower stairs are rusting away.

        1. The new ones are so fast there is no time to write graffiti. Instead of hydrolics (much slower) They are hoisted by weights . The older ones actually have broken down a lot… just lucky they never broke down on a hot day with an elevator full of people baking in a green house. I would say most of the waste in the city goes to overpayed employees.

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