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Our Opinion: Get the building open

April 05, 2002

There are many reasons the Bank of America building in Brawley remains vacant when four years ago the county Board of Supervisors purchased it to turn it into a North County services building.

All the reasons may be legitimate or bordering on legitimacy, but the time has come for the county to follow through in its promise to open the facility.

County Supervisor Gary Wyatt has vowed the North County services building is a priority. In a recent meeting with a committee of Northend residents — formed to push for the opening of the building — Wyatt used strong words to express the county's commitment to the project. He said at least the top floor of the BofA could be occupied by the county by the year's end.

Those are important words and they are good to hear, but words do not always add up to action. We urge the county supervisors to ensure Wyatt's words do not add up to an empty vow.

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We understand there are reasons the project has been delayed and the county has a lot on its plate right now. We also understand how bureaucracy can slow down even the best of projects. But the people of North County deserve to have services without having to drive to El Centro. We want to see Behavioral Health Services with an active office in the BofA. We want to see Social Services and employment training services work out an agreement to move into the Vogel's building in Brawley. We want to see county services in general more accessible to North County folks. This project means a lot to the people of the Northend.

The people pushing for the project are setting an important model for all Imperial Valley residents. If you want to see a government agency take action, you have to get involved.

People can make a difference if they are committed to a cause. That does not mean you have to work against a government agency to bring action. Sometimes working with the agency is the best step. That is exactly what the North County services committee is doing. Its efforts to work with the county will bring the North County administration building to fruition — sooner rather than later.

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