The costly Court Tower of Babel

Barbara Rodriguez Mundell, presiding judge of Maricopa County Superior Court, has written a My Turn column for the daily, in which she heaps accolades on the new and innovative 16-story  criminal court tower.

Mundell never mentions the cost, but does enthuse over the consultants who ensure victims’ rights will be in the forefront of the design team‘s agenda.

Funny, all along we thought it was the dispensation of justice, by interpreting the law and applying it to the facts of each case, which was the role of the criminal courts.

Among the litany of recommendations to be implemented, from separate waiting rooms, hallways and restrooms for victims and their families, are “highly visible signs.”  How much do you bet they’ll be bilingual?

The courts have enlisted the services of Dr. Judith Heerwagen, an environmental and evolutionary psychologist whose work focuses on the links between building design and human health, well being, and productivity. Mundell stresses Heerwagen’s ability to make the new courts more “empathetic.”  Among other projects, Heerwagen has worked with the University of California, Berkeley on the development of a protocol for assessing sustainable buildings. “The Living Building Leader,” Cascadia, has offices in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington state and Oregon. Their exceptionally high-end website carries these words: “The Cascadia Region Green Building Council advocates for change at all levels and pushes for paradigm-shifting legislation.”

We’ll leave you to figure out what that signifies, but we suspect it’s expensive and has a left-wing bent.

The project is currently pegged at costing taxpayers $340 million. Any additional questions you might have after reading Judge Mundell’s column, are answered — with slant included — at no additional cost. The county has thoughtfully provided a live construction camera which updates images every minute, for those interested in seeing how their money is being spent.

But under the link for Consultants and Contractors, only Arizona companies are listed and there is not a single mention of Dr. Heerwagen.

7 Responses to The costly Court Tower of Babel

  1. Frankly Speaking says:

    I found this bio on Dr. Judith Heerwagen. You’re right. What a load of liberal crap! Any idea what she’s being paid? Under the “additional questions” Mundell even has the gall to say that these acutely disastrous economic times are exactly the right time to engage in this expensive (and sure to get more so) project. But then, any other time would not include her name on the bronze plaque commemorating the construction of the building.

    http://www.cascadiagbc.org/resources/buildings-in-balance-2007/buildings-in-balance-2007-bios

  2. Joe Evans says:

    Judge Mundell’s husband Bill is also a lawyer, but mostly a career politician. He was a legislator, and a Corporation Commissioner. When that job was over, Gov. Brewer appointed him as the AZ Registrar of Contractors. These two remind me of Mary Rose and Earl Wilcox!

  3. Doc says:

    The list of shady characters tied to our sitting Governor grows with each passing day. And Arizona’s $2BILLION bux in th’ red? Hows about Maricopa County? Reminds me of, “Hey, I’m gonna’ file bankruptcy tomorrow, but first, I’m buyin’ a new BMW today!”

    And isn’t Judge Mundell an elected Judge, or am I mistaken? I realize she’s not solely responsible for this white elephant boondoggle, but it sure looks to me like she holds some culpability.

  4. Stanford says:

    Another duo of slurpers at the public trough, Joe.

  5. Sideliner says:

    Well, what do you know? Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell is featured as one of the “Latino faces” in today’s Republic. It’s a two page article telling readers how much a part of the overall community “Latinos” are. Question: If they are so integrated into the overall society, why are they always featured as separate entities? Become part of the whole, integrate, assimilate, stop flying the Mexican flag, (I don’t fly the Irish and German ones) and don’t participate in such publications as “The state of Latino Arizona,” the one featured in the today’s newspaper. We all come from different cultures and backgrounds, but when our grandparents or theirs came to this country, they assumed a new nationality: AMERICAN. They learned the language and never marched through American cities waving the flags of the counties they left, making demands.

  6. Villanova says:

    Doc:
    You are mistaken. The judges stand for retention on the ballot after they are appointed, but they are NOT elected in Maricopa and Pima counties. All of the rest of Arizona’s counties, 13 out of the total 15, elect their judges. We face an even greater problem once the new census numbers come in next year. If any of the other counties have reached the magic population number of 250.000, then they will be forced to cease their elections and be added to the highly political mix of governor’s appointment, done mainly along party lines. Gov. Napolitano went for a couple of years without naming a single Republican to the bench. She never did appoint a conservative to the judiciary, but she did reward many of her political cronies with a black robe. Recently retired legislators and spouses of legislators, former Pima and Maricopa county Democrat chairmen or their relatives, agency people and those she worked with at the AG’s office fill the judiciary through her generosity today.

  7. Doc says:

    Vil- Thank You for the info. I do reside in Yavapai County, so that’s where I got that notion. I’m sorry you folks in Maricopa Co. are getting shafted. I’m positive that Yavapai Co. isn’t far behind.