Adjusted for inflation, county government has spent over ten million dollars renovating the Monroe County courthouse, first in the 1980’s and followed by a major renovation that was completed in 2012. That more than proves that county government can be trusted with preserving historic county buildings. Why, then, do some in city government feel the “need” to rule over county government instead of working with county government?
Yes, the county buildings are within the city’s jurisdiction. But this is not like a home or a business in a historic district. (Though those bring their own issues regarding private property rights.) What we have here is a unit of government usurping another unit of government’s rightful authority. Preserving historic county government buildings should be done by county government, not by city government mandate.
Yes, there were some who wanted to demolish the county courthouse before it was renovated in the 1980’s. (The cost of that renovation, it should be noted, is $5.27 million in today’s dollars.) But history and politics are not stagnant. It is not the 1970’s or the 1980’s and there is no one in county government who wants to tear down the courthouse. It is insulting to today’s leadership and today’s voters to distrust county government because of what some wanted to do over three decades ago. And remember – those people lost that political battle.
City government should cooperate with the county to help preserve county government. The city and the county can and should collaborate to preserve our history. But city government’s desire to rule over county government is simply wrong and should be stopped cold.