Having served in public office for 20 years on both operating and capital budget committees, I believe that the county's purchase of the 800 Oak Street building in Frederick is questionable at best. The purchase process and justification are flawed for these reasons:

  • No needs assessment to justify the purchase has been made.
  • No real cost analysis to determine repairs, upgrades, and retrofitting has been performed.
  • We have seen a lack of transparency in this purchase.
  • Circumventing the county's acquisition is never a good idea.
  • Removing 209,000 square feet of commercial land from the tax roles is short-sighted.
  • Not meeting with the city of Frederick to discuss the purchase violates a long-standing agreement between the city and the county.

Therefore, spending $32,009,311 for the building acquisition, capital improvements, and operating expenses is obviously unwise. These funds are available through a one-time only, unaudited fund balance. And we surely have better uses for these funds.

Galen Clagett

Frederick

(9) comments

eak1969123

In the past I have been critical of Mr. Clagett. Certainly not this time. He makes excellent points. I would add another. The County claims they will help offset the expense by moving out of other facilities. Unless they are selling those facilities the cost to operate and maintain them will continue.

gabrielshorn2013

Not if they are sold or leased to others eak. It's a hot seller's market now in real estate. There is a possibility of increased revenue on leases, as the County pays no taxes on the current buildings they occupy. I believe Mr. Clagett also supported the building of the FCPS "Taj Mahal" HQ, and used the same rationale of consolidating into one facility. If he considers that rationale now wrong, why the change of heart?

gjthuro

Galen, you hit every nail on the head and this just one more insult to those who pay for these excesses....somehow we need to find folks with integrity in the next election who will bring spending issues such as this one to the public for us to say yes or no

Dwasserba

It’s done. Continuing to question will probably exceed the interest of some distractible taxpayers. I find myself entertained by a reference to “seeing” a “lack” of transparency. Just a saying of course. What a special gift that would be.

threecents

I thought it was $20 million plus a small amount of minor charges, but now it is $32 million? And they don't have time to consider Galen's points because it is a sellers' market and the offer goes off the table at midnight... Question for the Council members who voted for this: Do any of you own time share properties?

gabrielshorn2013

Removing 209,000 square feet of commercial land from the tax roles is short-sighted.

Mr. Clagett's repeating this is absurd. The city buildings situated around town may be sold or leased to others who would pay city taxes on them, as the county currently does not. Has Mr Clarett done that analysis? The rest of his letter contains gratuitous talking points.

Yeah Mr. Clagett is being obtuse and disingenuous at the same time..you know he knows all this and yet he has the audacity to act like he's a clueless nincompoop. (insert eyeroll emoji) [rolleyes][rolleyes]

vjhughes

He’s probably just ticked off that they didn’t use Clagett Enterprises for the whole deal.

Plumbum

or perhaps he's paying attention, and looking out for our best interest

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