About that tunnel in San Diego:
Last year this statement was being uttered by San Diego leadership and others to win support to move forward with a new San Diego Courthouse.
“The State of California will pay for the tunnel because it was part of the negotiations to obtain the land for the courthouse from the County. The tunnel is included in the budget for the courthouse project.”
As you know we’ve been looking at this future boondoggle unfold and as you might have guessed if you checked out SB1407, the funds to tear down old courthouses on lots that the AOC will not occupy in the future isn’t in the cards. As you might recall from the Long Beach incident, with ‘realignment’ comes a shift of responsibility to the sheriff/police to get their incarcerated to court.
And that don’t include no tunnels to no jails brother.
Let’s put a picture in your mind: Imagine moving prisoners in this congested downtown area is on a daily basis, how outrageously expensive it is to park and the increased costs of holding people at the courthouse two blocks from the jail by having to build another holding jail under the courthouse. Because holding cells must meet the same standards as jails, it makes this area the most expensive area of the whole courthouse. More expensive, even than turning the old courthouse into a high-rise parking lot and putting a tunnel under the parking lot to the jail. You can trust that the AOC already knows what they are giving San Diegans and it is an invoice and an eyesore for years to come.
Today, circulating around judicial circles is this missive: Some names have been omitted to protect our sources but you’ll find… a contrasting view… yeah, that’s it… of those negotiations with the county of San Diego over the land deal for the future courthouse…
From: Hill, Brad [mailto:Brad.Hill@jud.ca.gov]
Monday, April 8 2013
As you know, the tunnel is no longer a part of this project. One of the reasons for this decision by our working group was the cost escalation that took place as a result of a myriad of factors. (JCW: Yeah, they did not want to tear down the old courthouse because they have to do that before they build a tunnel under it…or risk collapsing the tunnel. They knew that years ago when they cheated San Diego County out of the lot.) Although the initial cost estimates were in the $3-5 million range, the final estimate of $25 million (jcw because, duh!) necessitated our cancellation of the tunnel. I appreciate your suggestion as to various options that might be considered. We are definitely looking at a variety of approaches.
As far as the cost associated with the demolition of the existing courthouse is concerned, that is not a part of the approved budget for the construction of the new courthouse. The Judicial Council has fee title to the buildings and property that currently contain the Superior Court, office space and the old jail facility. Although our committee is not working on this aspect of the project, it is my understanding that this property could be sold at some point in the future. Any decisions as to the demolition of the buildings would probably be made by the new owner of the property.
State of California to Citizens of San Diego: Coin Detected In Pocket.
While prominent insiders like So and Roddy get plush new penthouse digs overlooking San Diego bay in a new courthouse, the city will be left with a dangerous, festering eyesore for years to come. The county will be left transporting prisoners over surface streets two blocks and until now, it appears the other parties are not aware of all of this. (the city and county, that is…) and the AOC will be left purchasing insurance on the abandoned courthouse until they give it away, as opposed to the touted significant return to the TCIF, another touted reason to do this deal.
Boondoggle? A big-ass lie at the least. With Mr. Ham at the helm, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.