Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Marinwood Fire Station's $60,000 Dream Kitchen Makeover.

The Marinwood CSD approved $60,000 for a remodel of the Marinwood Fire Department kitchen.  No word if these stylish aprons will be issued to the firemen after the "Martha Stewart Dream Kitchen" is complete.

"The kitchen cabinets are 25 years old!",  "We have gone through five dishwashers in twenty five years!",  "There was mold growing in the kitchen!"    These are the reasons that the kitchen was demolished and "EMERGENCY" funding for a kitchen makeover was demanded at the May 2017 CSD meeting.    

In April, Marinwood FD fire chief, Tom Roach saw black mold in the kitchen and thought it could be dangerous. Forty eight hours later, a "mold specialist" had completely demolished the kitchen and issued a "safety" certificate  for $6700.  Suddenly, the fire department needed funding for a complete kitchen remodel.  Fortunately, the chief was prepared and had estimates for a $25,000 remodel featuring commercial grade appliances, $4500  granite countertops and custom cabinetry.   After all, the three guys on duty need to be able to microwave their meals in style.  Despite this enormous expense for a tiny 10 x 10 kitchen, the estimate ballooned to $60,000 and an architect was hired.  Not just any Home Depot remodel would do.  We now needed to comply with the state "living wage" ordinance and only contract with state approved contractors.   Fortunately again,  Chief Roach knows of a few local people that can do the job for $60,000.

Community members pointed out that simply replacing drywall does not require a permit if no utilities are moved.  It is a job that our in house maintenance staff could do in a day or two.   But Eric Dreikosen, Marinwood CSD Manager and Chief Tom Roach warned,  "we could get sued if we don't follow the law!" and insisted in a very unnecessary and expensive contracting process.  (Funny thing is they are unconcerned with about twenty violations of OSHA and Environmental laws broken with the Marinwood CSD Maintenance Shed on the banks of Miller Creek that could could the Marinwood CSD millions.)

I sent a letter suggesting that a simply replacement of drywall and installing free standing commercial kitchen cabinets would save thousands, look great and stand up to years of abuse. This practical solution was ignored.

Here are a few products available on Amazon that can be used in the fire house and the Community Center Kitchens

The Marinwood CSD IGNORED common sense thrift and is now going full "Martha Stewart Makeover" for the fire station kitchen.  Remember this when the Marinwood CSD asks for more taxes for "public safety".

If we could install a simple kitchen as I suggested, we would save as much as $50,000 to invest in things like  new playground equipment, park benches,  picnic tables,  pool maintenance,  staff incentives, pension investments, new recreational programs or to settle the lawsuit with the firefighters union.

The Marinwood CSD is spending more money than ever before.  Instead of addressing long term capital needs,  frivolous items like the "Martha Stewart Kitchen Makeover" of the Fire station are wasting our precious tax dollars.  We are on a path to insolvency with no end in sight.  The Marinwood CSD board would rather play Santa Claus instead of trimming expenses for long term financial health.

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