“The merits of this project are clear: we can save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and dramatically improve customer service by consolidating 19 divisions from 14 locations into one. We can do this while owning the building instead of continuing to lease at escalating costs. No tax increases are necessary.
“For the sake of the 820,000 people we represent, I hope to keep this project moving forward. Otherwise, maintaining the status quo will cost taxpayers over $300 million over the next 25 years, which is far more than the project's total cost.
“During this two-year public process, the County Council voted 6-1 to spend $1 million to initiate development of the General Services Building. Then the Council voted 4-3 to give it final approval. Unfortunately, the project was sidetracked by Council politics, fear mongering and the financial backing of the commercial landlords who want taxpayers to keep paying rising lease costs.
“Elected county leaders are paid to make tough decisions. The referendum process was never intended to be used for administrative decisions such as leases because it would paralyze government.
“I am proud of my record as County Executive. We made it through the Great Recession by reducing staff and consolidating departments and divisions, all while improving efficiencies and effectiveness. My administration consolidated 911 services and worked to successfully complete a U.S. Open. This project dramatically adds to those accomplishments, which is what taxpayers should expect from their local governments.”
Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive