Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“The administration’s attempted sale of state buildings has emerged as a full-blown legal battle, topped by the recusal of all the members of the state Supreme Court. Was this sell-off a good idea or a bad idea?”

Bad idea. One-time fixes are bad all around.

It’s the state equivalent of heading to a pawn shop. Not usually a solid financial plan.

It was stupid to announce it and score the sale in the budget. The administration should have quietly sought out purchasers and sold the buildings one by one as good business decisions.

I dunno. Selling your house to pay for heat, lights, food and gasoline never seems like a good idea.

If you can’t blow up boxes then try selling them. In the end the governor has maxed out the California credit card.  All the talk of fiscal discipline that was part of Prop. 57/58 was complete hype.

Let’s hope Governor Jerry Brown 3.0 keeps an eye on the bottom line.

At best, according to the administration, the $2.3 billion sale of 11 state buildings – 7 million square feet – including the headquarters of the state Supreme Court  saves $2 million – Yes, million with an M – over 20 years then starts to lose taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and provides only a little over $1 billion in short-term help for the budget shortfall. The Legislative Analyst says taxpayers lose those hundreds of millions during the first 20 years of leasing. In brief: Felony stupid.

The sale of state buildings into the worst possible real market appears as an act of desperation, and is ill considered from a future cash flow view. It is simply more leverage and spending and clearly shows the lack of financial depth and poor management which put us here in the first place.

Can’t everyone see the flames from this fire sale? Reminds me of when during Brown 1 we sold off the CSU site in Ventura, because it ” wasn’t needed,” but cash was. So we had to buy a new site. In Ventura 15 years later – at a much higher cost – for the “now needed” Cal State Channel Islands.

It’s called desperation. Without much fat left in the budget and no appetite for tax increases, putting buildings on the market seems like a smarter alternative than slashing education funding.

Selling off our assets so we can pay higher rental costs in perpetuity? Stunningly, stunningly stupid.

Because the sale involved the building where they worked, the members of the state Supreme Court did the right thing. The issue demonstrates the many pitfalls to achieve worthy goals. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger


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