It hasn't even made it in front of city council yet, but a proposal from councilman Clay Yarborough that would set an $8 million ceiling to begin the process of building a new supervisor of elections office in the La Villa area is already garnering a lot of attention. Part of the bill includes consolidating the two current offices at the Gateway Mall and on Monroe Street in downtown into one new location at the corner of State Street and I-95, a site the city already owns.
"I believe that the consolidation of those two probably could achieve some efficiencies in terms of fiscal savings, however, I'm going to really have to see the numbers on this eight million dollar expenditure," says councilman John Crescimbeni.
The councilman says it would be hard to justify a new facility with the number of vacant buildings the city already owns. He says he sees no reason to incur extra overhead costs on the city when there is already space available.
"If we already have it, if we have something suitable for the supervisor to move into that's currently within the real estate portfolio that we own, why don't we do that and save the $8 million?"
Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland has said that he has toured several of the vacant city buildings and that so far he has not found one that has the specifications he needs to transport and store some of the large equipment the elections office has. He says he's going to need a certain amount of square footage and parking spaces as well as loading docks and a first floor office to make it work.
Mayor Brown tells WOKV that he does not support building a new office for the supervisor. The bill will be introduced to city council at their meeting on December 10.