Shady and Cryptic County Real Estate Deals - Opinion
At Tuesdays Board of Supervisors, Kirk Smith nailed it when he exposed the Board and CAO of surreptitiously covering up questionable County real estate deals by not referring to the properties by known names on Board meeting agendas and only using the cryptic Assessor’s Parcel Number as a description. Mr. Smith lamented, how many of us even know the APN of our own home?
Terri Daly, CAO, her assistant Kim Kerr, Russ Fackrell, Ed Knapp and the Board have been secretly performing real estate deals and negotiations in closed sessions and under the guise of these cryptic agenda item descriptions so as to not garner public scrutiny. So much for open and transparent government.
Mr. Smith chastised the Board for an earlier meeting whereby it advocated transparency in government, but only a week later approved a ten year lease for the problem plagued “Logan Building” for $3,276,907 without referring to it by its name so the public wouldn’t know what was going on or be able to cross reference all of the old Grand Jury reports which stated the County should never occupy this facility again. Mr. Smith further described how the County lost over $1 million on this property previously owning it and later disposed of it. This May, the Board for some crazy hair brained reason decided to take a very expensive walk down memory lane again and defy of all the Grand Jury’s advice while ignoring a less costly competing offer from its existing landlord and sabotaging the landlord's lease proposal. As Mr. Smith previously lectured the childish Board of Supes, “you knew it was wrong and you did it anyway.” Now the County has a percentage of the population that can’t access Mental Health services and the County is spending ridiculous amounts of money, time and resources busing patients back in forth in van pools to Diamond Springs.
Mr. Smith went on to describe how there have been two secret Closed Session meetings in the last week over the highly contentious Briggs Court House project, also secretly disguised by cryptic APN, but now also garnering State scrutiny. Today there was yet another agenda item on the Briggs Court House on the consent agenda approving an extension of the Briggs Court House option agreement which benefits Briggs.
The third property that the County has been dealing on in secret and referring to only by APN is the County’s proposed acquisition of the Pioneer Plaza Office Building across from the Movie Theater at 344 Placerville Drive for $1,750,000.00.
Shame on this deceitful Board of Supervisors, CAO and staff. You know better than this and several of you should be recalled or fired.
Diamond Springs, CA