By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – March 14, 2021

After reading an article in the Lost Coast Outpost by Jessica Cejnar titled “Child Support Services Will Move Despite Current Landlord’s Objections, Threatens to Sue”, I noticed that Ms. Cejnar once again has failed to do her homework.  The idea that any threat was issued by the landlord, Thomas Barnes, is a stretch at best, and clearly Chair Chris Howard did not take it as such. Beyond that Ms. Cejnar has reported a good number of inaccuracies over the differences between the existing office space and the new one.  So lets see just how that affects the decision to move over a very few items with the correct information.

TAB vs North Plaza Professional

Escape clause should the space become unsuitable:

YES                                                                                                         No, full lease cost
for entire ten years

Size of space:  3850 sq ft                                                                  2690 sq ft

Cost per sq ft:  95 cents                                                                   $1.18 first year

Lease cost per year:  $43,890                                                         $38,152 first year

Room to expand :        Additional 10,000 sq ft                             No

Parking spaces:    165                                                                        16

In Tsunami Inundation zone:   No,  See updated Map              No

Proximity
to City Center:     
In City Center                                                        1.8 miles

OSHA
compliant, Code Compliant, ADA Compliant:

YES                                                                                     Unknown, additional cost likely

Security System:    Yes                                                  No, up to $50,000 additional cost

Cost to Move: Not Applicable,

current office space                                                        up to $50,000 additional cost

Utility Cost:

Significant reduction from $900/mo                                         Unknown likely similar
due to smaller space

Office Space Professionally Planned:

Yes                                                                                                         No

In the head to head evaluation over just a very few items there was
clearly a need for the County to have engaged the services of the Fair
Practices Commission first and foremost to provide an accurate
evaluation of the two proposals, to be transparent, to be viewed as
honest, unbiased, and most importantly to be above any sense of
impropriety.  As this was clearly lacking in the bid process, it is
understandable that the possibility of legal action might be forth
coming. It is unfortunate that the Director of Child Support should be
so careless with his evaluation and fail to use all tools necessary to
provide a clear and accurate report to the Board of Supervisors.  This
was not done.

It is also important to note on a previous occasion the neglect of an
escape clause, imperative in government contracts with funding based on
the State’s economic health, caused an embarrassing cost to the County
of several hundred thousand dollars which could have been much worse. 
This neglect by Director of Child Services, Aaron Goodwin, is an
irresponsible over site  in a lease of this magnitude.  The fact that it
wasn’t questioned by the Board after the recent experience is equally
irresponsible.  Ten years locked into a $355,014 lease has disaster
written all over it.

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