Puyallup Municipal Court Judge Stephen Shelton spoke at this week’s Puyallup Council Meeting stating that Puyallup deserves its own courthouse. A majority of the council just last week sank any last hope of the court cohabiting with underutilized city hall. Since its opening, city hall has been an icon of everything that is wrong in municipal government. Built for no good reason for double the planned cost at taxpayer’s expense. Now that it is complete, it is barely occupied.
In these austere financial times, there is no chance of a new dedicated building for Puyallup’s court any time soon. However, the judge also added two other interesting statements. Puyallup’s court load requires a second judge. He also indicated a desire for cooperative court agreements with other local municipalities.
Puyallup’s $40M, 50,000 square foot city hall only houses 66 employees. It is hard to imagine any significant number of additional employees being relocated there. So, how about this wild proposal ?
Move city hall employees back to 39th street where they came from two years ago. The council can meet in the Public Library. Five story city hall could be turned into a large courthouse serving multiple cities similar to AUKEEN (Auburn, Kent and Enumclaw). Perhaps Sumner, Bonney Lake and Edgewood would consider this joint operation ?
Puyallup would rid itself of rent it currently pays as well as acquiring revenue from other cities.
Radical yes, but economically, it would make good sense to consider such a concept.
Dave Churchman, District 2