#City & Town Planning
Residents of Bucks County
United States of America

The Bucks County Commissioners approved a controversial new courthouse project. The projected cost of the project is between $100 to $150 million. The site has already been identified and contracts have been signed (for construction of garage and architectural design of the Justice Center) towards getting this expensive 6 year construction project underway.

In light of the current financial crisis facing our nation, and more specifically our county, this expenditure has become fiscally irresponsible. Fiscal considerations dictate that this project not go forward at this time and a more affordable long-term alternative be investigated.

A host of alternatives that reduce both the size of county government and the square footage necessary need to be explored with the plan altered accordingly. These items include but are not limited to:

a) Technology to allow judges to oversee hearings remotely.

b) A courtroom at the jail.

c) Special drug courts and mental health courts in certain areas of Bucks County.

d) New technologies in all row and county offices that will allow them tto become more internet-based and less hard-copy dependent. (Example: filing campaign finance reports online, access and recording deeds online, e-filing of all paperwork, applications and financial payments.)

e) Consolidation of departments and elimination of reliance on rented space for county services.

To the County Commissioners of Bucks County

Given the current challenging economic environment it is clear that budgetary demands on Bucks County Pennsylvania are growing far faster than our revenue base. We are in a developing economic crisis that is getting worse day by day. This crisis dictates an end to bloated government and industry in exchange for more efficient, environmentally wise and technologically based alternatives.

In the coming years, our county is facing significant fiscal and social challenges. Current budget priorities including infrastructure projects, social programs, and the county’s Pension Fund are already underfunded. Demand for county social services is growing exponentially.

The tax base is shrinking along with property values and the economic security of many of our residents is in jeopardy.

While we recognize that legitimate reasons exist for increased space in certain county courtrooms and departments, now is NOT the time to spend between $100 and $150 million on a new courthouse.

Fiscal responsibility demands we conserve and stringently prioritize our financial capability during times of economic uncertainty. Notwithstanding monies already spent and agreements already reached, we, the undersigned residents of Bucks County, hereby demand a 24 month spending moratorium, and a thorough review of alternatives for meeting actual space requirements within county courts and government.

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The Help Stop the $100 million Bucks County Courthouse Project petition to Residents of Bucks County was written by Ken Kaplan and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.