New Office Furniture For 10 Duluth City Workers: $90,000
I can see why this is drawing criticism since Duluth has been in such a penny-pinch mode as of late to get back on track. I agree that people need good working spaces, but perhaps this could have been introduced in a better way to avoid instant backlash. Where there bids to get average prices from multiple vendors? Before you present such things, especially in politics, you have to be prepared for those who will push back.
Duluth’s city administrators are looking for approval to spend more than $90,000 on new office furniture for about 10 city employees — a plan drawing fire from some members of the City Council.
The furniture would be used by the Parks and Recreation Department after it moves from the Central Hillside Community Center to the ground floor of City Hall, space to be shared with a new Parking Department. The area previously was headquarters of the Duluth Police Department before it moved to the new Law Enforcement Center on Rice Lake Road, which has new furniture.
Most of the Police Department’s old furniture was beyond salvage, city administrators say. But that doesn’t justify the price of the new purchases, argue some city councilors.
“Simple math tells you it’s excessive,” said At Large Councilor Jim Stauber. “Everyone needs a good work space, and you can get a pretty decent desk, chair and filing cabinet for $1,000 to $1,200. But $9,000 to $10,000 per person? Come on.”
District 4 Councilor Garry Krause also criticized the spending, saying that when city administrators were angling to build the new Law Enforcement Center, the City Hall space was characterized as virtually unredeemable.