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Government is to blame for problems, not rich

Posted: December 27, 2010 10:16 p.m.
Updated: December 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Recent headlines point out that in virtually all levels of government, we are in economic trouble. At the same time, the finger is pointed at “the rich” for not paying their fair share.

Of course, government officials are quick to point out that they have cut everything to the bone, so now they must cut highly visible programs such as police, fire, education or help for the poor.

In December, there was an article about Los Angeles County putting in a new visitor center at Vasquez Rocks to replace the existing facility. The cost is $9.8 million.

If you have a facility now and we are in a tough budget situation, can you get by with that until times are better? Apparently not.

So now that they have decided they absolutely need it, could we at least make sure we are doing this as cost effectively as possible? Apparently, this is not very important, either.

The new facility will be a nice-sized, 2,700-square-foot building.

Now, start doing the math. A 2,700- square-foot facility for $9.7 million comes out to about $3,592 per square foot. Seems pretty high to me, so a quick check on the Internet ( finds the following.

At the peak of the real estate values in Valencia back in 2006, the average value of a home sold was at $352 per square foot. Our new visitor center costs 10 times that figure.

 I will grant them that it is more expensive to build a facility like this because of the large restrooms and handicap accessibility, but this is off the chart, especially when the county is telling us they must cut vital services because of budget shortfalls.

Maybe instead of bashing the rich, we should ask that our county supervisors make good business decisions.


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