El Dorado County incompetence, nepotism, favoritism and “kickback central”
Our sheriff this Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting wants a 106,331-square-foot building the size of a Home Depot on a 12-acre campus, six times the size of the current administration building he occupies built in 1970. A county consultant estimates a $52 million construction cost at $490 per square foot. You need to multiply this estimated cost by two or three times due to the county’s poor and inexperienced construction management team.
One wonders if this won’t become a $100-$150 million taxpayer-funded screw-up. Then there is the issue of the county putting the cart before the horse, as county lacks funding for this major undertaking and taking on huge bond indebtedness takes voter approval. Lease back arrangement you might say? Didn’t work last time.
A recent letter to the editor discussed the CAO Office’s incompetence and gross mismanagement of the Meyers Landfill project, a rather simple dirt work project and how the construction contract exploded from an original $2.6 million contract to over $13 million hard costs with $6 million in project contractor change orders and a total county budget price tag of $25 million with attorneys and consultants fees — many of the mistakes the county made were completely boneheaded. Then there is the CAO’s runaway $5.6 million FENIX computer project. What happened to the county’s new cozy Briggs Courthouse project and the adjacent site for the sheriff? Too small he says.
The current fast-tracking of a few inferior development parcels in the El Dorado Road/Missouri Flat Road areas for an expensive new Sheriff’s campus that lacks public financing doesn’t pass the smell test. The CAO’s feckless and clueless facilities manager, Russ Fackrell, is putting incompetent ex-coworkers on his payroll and Advisory Board and lining their pockets with consulting gigs. Then there is the involvement of Scott Kingston, the 30-something-year-old real estate agent who the CAO has interjected into every real estate deal for the last two years and paid over $400,000 in commissions for very little work. Several of the Advisory Board members’ qualifications including Mr. Kingston’s are a complete joke, as they are unqualified. Kingston moves jobs to different employers on average every six months to avoid being found out. Colliers International, Ethan Conrad Properties, Cornish & Carey, and this month it’s Gallaway Commercial.
The real problem is the county lacks funding to make this expensive acquisition, has no funding mechanism and may have to rely on voters to approve a future bond issuance.
The sheriff throwing out ridiculously high numbers to justify building himself a Taj Mahal, which includes an on-site shooting gallery, morgue, gym and refreshments snack bar in such sketchy financial times seems to defy logic. If the ridiculously high Sheriff’s Office salaries and pensions weren’t enough, wait until you get the tab for this boondoggle.
The whole deal smells of the usual county incompetence, nepotism, favoritism and “kickback central” that we get from this CAO Terri Daly and Assistant CAO Kim Kerr. Another “pay-to-play” deal? Nothing but out of control spending from this lame duck Board of Supervisors who endorse the CAO’s incompetence, wasteful spending and poor project management.