County Rethinks $750,000 Remodeling Project

It's not clear what items will be left out of the project, but Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas asked his colleagues to scale back plans that called for $750,000 worth of office improvements.

The original estimate was $707,000. County supervisors went ahead and ok'd that -- plus about $50,000.

The board Tuesday rescinded the vote that approved the improvements. Ridley-Thomas asked that a plan to fund upgrades to his  office be referred back to the county's chief executive officer.

"The CEO will review the condition of the work space, including  building code violations, other safety concerns and energy efficiency," Ridley- Thomas said.

Earlier this month, Ridley-Thomas explained why he thought the office was a fixer-upper.

"This is an office that is just simply outdated," he said. "We can do better work if we had a more reasonable environment in which to accomplish it."

Money for the project will come from the Second District's Discretionary Fund. Each supervisor gets about $1 million annually to spend as they see fit -- or to retrofit.

According to a memo to supervisors, the project originally called for "replacing carpet/floor tiles, ceilings, lighting, interior wood work, an air conditioning retrofit, electrical and plumbing.

"Contracting will refurbish interior wood work, window and wall treatments by replacing blind, curtain and acoustic fabric panels; and will remove the existing kitchenette, and relocated plumbing and electrical lines for the kitchenette."


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The original letter to supervisors also mentioned office furniture.

No one doubts that his office is in need of a major makeover. Ridley-Thomas' office, which also houses his staff,  is still equipped with 1960's era ceiling tiles, lighting, and electrical outlets, which are overloaded by modern technology. About 22 people work in an estimated 4,000 square  feet. Some are crowded into the corner of another person's office or working in  a narrow corridor between offices.

Ridley-Thomas said the discussion about the office "has become a needless distraction  inflamed by misleading and erroneous information."

Ridley-Thomas became an LA County Supervisor in December 2008.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

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