Form vs. Function
To the Editor: There are those who would say I am against the courthouse renovation. That is not true; I am against this particular proposal.
The purpose of the courthouse is a place to conduct county business. Any work on the courthouse should enhance the efficiency of conducting county business. Currently, the courthouse needs at least one additional courtroom, additional storage space and additional workspace for employees. Simply put this current proposal emphasizes form (looks) over function (utility).
The first reason I oppose this proposal is because the courthouse may have foundation problems. Researching past courthouses built on this site would indicate some possible problems. The cracks in the floors, walls and ceiling would also be indicative of potential foundation issues and it would be prudent to have this investigated first before we pour $5 to $8 million of our taxpayer money plus the $4.4 million in an expected state grant.
The second reason is the courthouse floor plan. The current proposed floor plan submitted by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) reduces workspace and does not add any courtrooms. With this current proposal, Navarro County would be required to purchase additional land and/or buildings for a courthouse annex. This is an example of form over function. Nothing proposed in the courthouse renovation enhances the ability of the courthouse to be more efficient and in fact could have the exact opposite effect.
Finally, how this project is going to be financed is another issue. As of July 10 2013, the Commissioners Court has abandoned it plan to issue Certificates of Obligation in favor of holding a Bond Election in November. Assuming the bond election passes, how do we (the citizens of Navarro County) pay for these bonds? Revenues are not likely to be available to support this proposal.
Donald C. King
Form vs. Function
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