Is costliest site a ‘need’ or a ‘want’?

Thank you for Noah Haglund’s articles regarding the plans for a new courthouse.

As a reader and subscriber to The Herald, I have been closely following Snohomish County’s decision to select the most expensive location for a new courthouse, a decision made without a vote of taxpaying residents and without any meaningful opportunity for affected private property owners to object to the taking of their property.

The County Council seemingly ignores the constitutional mandate that any taking of private property through eminent domain be based upon public need, and not merely political desire.

We tax payers must constantly decide if we really “need” a lavish new purchase, or merely “want” one. The County Council should adhere to the same fiscal discipline, particularly because the money being spent is not their own, but ours.

As an example, why must more be spent to include buying up private property across the street from the existing courthouse, when the county has spent and will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain the vacant Carnegie Building on land it already owns, also across the street from the existing courthouse?

No doubt there are other examples of waste and lavishness, but this most recent decision of the County Council is particularly blatant.

Renee Ripley

Mukilteo

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