District attorney not pleased with new building
District Attorney Robert Maloney apparently is not thrilled about moving his offices into an old house.
"You have taken a house built for people to live in and are trying to make ... a silk purse out of a sow's ear," Maloney said, adding it was the board's decision to send his office there.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved spending up to $28,000 in renovations to the interior of the home at 125 South Murdock St. in Willows.
The DA's office is set to move into the former residence that once served as office space for the Public Works Department.
The DA's current quarters next to the Willows Courthouse were sold to the California courts.
"This move will get Bob out of that mold infested building and make me happy," Supervisor Mike Murray said.
Maloney's comments followed concerns from Supervisor Dwight Foltz of Orland, who was unhappy about not getting all of the information on the project in his agenda packet.
"I just got the estimate at the last minute," Foltz said. "I have no clue what you're doing."
Maloney responded it made no difference to him who does the work on the project.
He said he is a lawyer not a contractor, so the building projects are handled by the Public Works Department.
Maloney was specifically concerned about security, noting he has law enforcement files and needs alarms and locks to secure the facility.
An estimate for $6,000 to put in secure locks seemed to surprise Foltz and other board members.
Supervisor John Viegas asked if they should have put the locks out to bid.
Maloney said only one locksmith looked at it for an estimate but did not make a bid.
"This is an example of not enough information being provided on an agenda item," Murray said. "Maybe if we start looking at these reports with magnifying glasses it will force department heads to do a better job."
Murray suggested putting in crash bars and other features made more sense and was "more believable."
"My concern is not so much with you," added Foltz. "I understand your need for locks."
But Foltz is also concerned about the need for a new roof, and wants to make sure a new roof lasts at least 20 years, and a single cost estimate on that work was not enough, he said.
Maloney said he has a metal roof on his Elk Creek area home that has been quite durable. So he suggested the county look into that option, though it could be twice the cost.
Public Works Director John Linhart did not attend the meeting and was not available for comment.
Ultimately, the board approved interior work, then agreed to have Linhart put the roofing project out to bid for both composition shingles and a metal roof.
Money for the project is in the county's budget, according to Finance Director Edward Lamb.
Linhart proposes spending $7,500 in impact fees on the project and taking the rest from the court relocation fund paid to the county when it sold the courthouse to the state, Lamb said.