Trumbull County commissioners are soliciting proposals to lease office space for the Planning Commission and Building Inspection, microfilm/printing and records departments. This means little to no effort has been made by Warren city and county leaders to share services and save taxpayer dollars.
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin's administration and City Council are still contemplating a one-stop building in which to combine several municipal departments and vacate many deteriorating buildings. A private developer has proposed a city government center at the old Delphi complex on Dana Street. Franklin has prepared other options for consideration.
The county has the above-mentioned departments housed in the former Wean building on North Park Avenue in downtown Warren. Earlier this year the county spent $200,000 on repairs to the boiler system there and anticipates hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional building repairs. This is driving the effort to relocate. Warren faces similar upkeep and maintenance costs in many of its buildings.
Logically, since both governments want to operate in or near downtown, the best approach would be a consolidated effort. Sharing utilities, phones, Internet, faxes, copy machines, clerical staffs, receptionists, janitors and many other operations should reduce taxpayer expenses.
Officials from the county and city had previously indicated that they are indeed working together to share space. However, last month's announcement that county commissioners are soliciting proposals to lease office space for the departments housed on North Park indicates that either previous attempts to work together failed or never occurred.
That means neither side is putting forth the effort necessary to become more efficient with taxpayer money.