Colorado officials are bristling at the Colorado Department of Transportation’s request for $150 million for new buildings in Denver, Pueblo, and Greeley. This request follows CDOT’s opposition last year to a bill that would have issued $3.5 billion in transportation bonds to fix Colorado’s infrastructure. While CDOT opposed actually doing its job for Colorado taxpayers, it’s willing to spend money on new offices for itself? The move incited skepticism across the state with Senate President Bill Cadman leading the charge.
“I have a huge concern that they can say ‘no’ to roads, bridges and public safety, and ‘yes’ to bonding for themselves.”
State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who is in charge of the state’s check book, said that he believed that legislators should have a say in such a large purchase:
“When agencies such as CDOT are spending such a large amount of taxpayers’ money, they should have to go through the legislative process to gain approval.”
And, it’s no wonder that so many are skeptical about CDOT’s plans. The CDOT office revamp comes on the heels of reports that the Environmental
Pollution Protection Agency spent $92.4 million on office furniture. According to contracts, the EPA spent nearly $50 million from Herman Miller, a high-end office furniture retailer. The purchases included an $800 pencil drawer and $4,000 chairs.
We’re not suggesting that government offices be furnished in a mish-mash of second-hand furniture (ok, maybe we are), but it would be nice if government offices didn’t have exorbitantly expensive furniture when the businesses that pay for the furniture via taxes make due with lesser trappings. But, it’s all monopoly money to government workers whether it’s $4,000 chairs or $150 million office makeovers. It would just be really nice to be able, for once, to write a post on how a federal or state agency is saving taxpayer dollars instead of squandering them.
Isn’t anybody the government sitting on $147.99 Office Depot chairs?