Public Clamoring for New Digs for Legislators!

At least that’s what our favorite lobbyist Marty Shultz would have us believe. In a story in this week’s Capitol Times about proposals for a new State Capitol, Shultz said that “The feeling seems to be much more powerful than it ever has been.”

Maybe Marty is right, he does, after all, work for APS and we all know how smart they are.

I have heard several reports of families sitting around their dinner table saying how much they really want to see millions of their tax dollars spent on a new State Capitol. In fact, I was lucky to be able to eavesdrop on one such conversation.

(Husband) “Honey I really feel we need to build new offices for legislators”

(Wife) “Yeah, me too. Other states really aren’t going to take Arizona seriously unless we spend some major cash updating the Capitol.”
(Husband) “I agree, in fact, I am amazed that anyone is really willing to move here given that our State Capitol isn’t up to snuff.”

(Wife) “You’re right, in fact, some friends of mine were talking about that over lunch today. They all agree, the sentiment seems to be really powerful, in fact, more so than ever.
(Husband) Honey, we just go our APS bill today. I feel much better knowing that when we pay our monthly bill at least a portion of it is going to have the lobbyists for APS spending their time making sure that our powerful views about spending millions in tax dollars for upgrade the Capitol are heard.

(Wife) Me too, after all, what’s more important to the well-being of our great state, fixing the problem at Palo Verde, or representing the powerful desire of the citizenry to build a new Capitol complex we can all be proud of.


Comments

  1. kralmajales says

    Ahahahah yeah…I agree with you on this one. That is definitely what we need…a new Capital complex….hahahahahhaa.

  2. Hometown Guy says

    The post was entertaining and well done, however the truth is that the House and Senate buildings are in dire need of renovation.

    It is not the capitol that needs to be rebuilt. The “capitol” is in the 9th floor tower, which is lovely. The building with the copper dome, facing the legislative chambers, is the historic capitol. No one is suggesting it should be torn down–it is part museum and part offices. The museum is wonderful and worth your time.

    The House and Senate are the buildings in question, and they are definitely in need of a major redo. Secretaries are shared and there is scant room to accommodate their desks. Files are in the hallways and the tiny offices appear to be firetraps. It has become fair game to go after our elected officials, but truth is truth. Take a trip downtown to visit your legislators and see for yourself.

  3. AZ Republican says

    Here, here, Hometown Guy! Aside from not having enough space to accomadate secretaries – especially in the House – the Senate building has fallen casualty to two major floods in the past year and one half. The cost of repairing these buildings annualy is tremendous, and it would indeed be more cost-effective for the taxpayers in the long-run if new buildings were to be constructed.

  4. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    The entire executive building is ugly as sin, but yes, it still actually functions… The House and Senate buildings definitely need to be replaced… They are too small and they are falling apart. Not sure why we need to whack one lobbyist for this, since former speaker Jake Flake called for this project more than 4 years ago, but oh well… whack away!

    Still, replacing those buildings would be a good thing…

  5. Az Republican,

    I don’t think anyone objects to fixing the buildings. But Jake Flake is saying that the new building plan is going to cost $500 million. You really think that is the best way to spend scarce resources? And for that matter, do you really think the citizens of Arizona really want to see $500 million of their tax dollars spent this way?

  6. AZ Republican says

    Observer,

    There are many who believe that these buildings are beyond repair. For the Senate Research staff to have to spend months on end working out of hearing room because the basement flooded is unacceptable. Certainly, there is little that could be done about the lack of space in the two buildings aside from razing them. Take one walk around the third floor at the House, and you will understand what I mean. I am truly a fiscal conservative, and I do believe that constructing bew buildings makes more sense in the long run.

  7. AZ Republican says

    Observer,

    PS – I do completely agree with you that this will be a tough-sell to the public. I think that some thoughtful fiscal analyses will demonstrate to the tax payers the potential savings of new buildings both in terms of what will be saved in repairs AND in terms of buildings that are more efficient in heating, cooling, etc. The current buildings have been partitioned to form new offices many times, so much so that the buildings are far from energy efficient.

  8. Perhaps we should put both chambers and the governor in double-wides with no air conditioning. That may prompt them to end the session in the least amount of time!

  9. Take a page from Sheriff Joe….put them in Tents. I like DSW’s idea!

  10. The original building was never completed as designed. The entrance was not as we see it now, but would have had a large outdoor staircase (like that at many capitol buildings) with the main entry on the second floor. It is a beautiful building and should be promoted as something to include not exclude in any new plan.

    One way to settle the cost versus need issue; make the state use the same formula for any new building that schools are required to use through the School Facilities Board guidelines. Everything is on a “minimum standard”; sounds like a great chance for the goose and gander to meet face to face.

    With that said; I frequent the capitol often and it is in dire need of help, not just for the physical ability for work to be completed by staffers and elected officials but for the public. The hearing rooms are too small for many of the committees; the bathrooms are quite interesting with the gray stained toilets and long lines at breaks and during busy sessions, and the aesthetics of the entire complex is reminiscent of an industrial center.

    Tear down the existing House & Senate buildings. Replace them with something that would blend with the original capitol building and give us a beautiful, effective, and efficient place to get the work of the state accomplished and where the public would be welcome and accommodated, as well.

    Arizona should be proud of the capitol just as we should be proud of our schools and other buildings that represent the performance of the public work. I do not think anyone would begrudge a building that is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing. Especially when it is designed to be more publicly accessible and a part of the Arizona landscape. The tourist draw could be the copper dome, an interesting state museum, and monuments of interest, something sorely lacking now.

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