All along, I’ve proposed keeping the Nevada County courthouse on its original site, having written the first commentary about it last May. It’s a “no brainer” when you look at the big picture, not just through the narrow lens of court administrators.
Not enough people were listening back then, but they slowly have jumped on the bandwagon. I’m glad the supervisors are on board now. The Union editorial page also is supporting the plan now that it’s “safe” to do so. (The same thing happened on the “save the library effort.” After Sierra Voices and others did the early legwork, the “which way is the wind blowing” crowd jumped on board).
Trouble is, in the case of the courthouse, now we have to jump through some mighty big hoops to keep it on its existing site, such as securing funds from other agencies. This is no easy task when money is tight.
Could this extra legwork have been avoided? I think so.
In “Bombshell: State admits to “grave error” in Nevada City courthouse report” I wrote last June: “The county was never asked whether it wanted to relinquish space in the existing building, which would facilitate a new courthouse on the existing site.”
It continued: ““Unfortunately, there is a grave mistake in your project feasibility report,” the county letter reads. “The county was never contacted by your staff and asked if we would be open to relinquishing our space in the court house. In fact, this statement is very confusing as this was our desire and repeated request through the previous court house transfer process and negotiations.
“The county is still interested in discussing with the (state) both parties’ equity positions in the Nevada City and Truckee court houses.”
The Administrative Office of the Courts responded with an apology. All along I felt the Administrative Office of the Courts was applying a “cookie cutter” mindset to rebuilding aging courthouses, rather than considering the historic or economic issues.
The “my bad” by the Administrative Office of the Courts is a case study in how our government bureaucracies need to work more closely together from the get-go, a recurring issue.
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