Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Chief Justice Creates Court Facilities Working Group
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye yesterday announced the creation of a new Court Facilities Working Group, tasked with providing oversight of the statewide program that maintains, renovates, and rebuilds courthouses.
The 25-member group headed by Justice Brad R. Hill, of the Fifth District Court of Appeal, is charged with responsibility for supervising the Administrative Office of the Courts in its management of 20 million square feet of court facilities statewide, as well as courthouse construction projects. It is also being asked to review policy issues, business practices, and budget monitoring and control and make recommendations as necessary to the Judicial Council.
Cantil-Sakauye remarked yesterday that “providing safe, secure, functional courthouses remains a critical priority that we must balance with other challenges” during “this era of severe budget constraints and shifting priorities.”
She predicted that this new group “will provide comprehensive oversight to ensure that we make good decisions and maximize our limited resources in this crucial area.”
Hill said the “state Legislature has swept $310 million this year from the judicial branch’s fund for immediate and critical needs of court construction and modification,” which requires the courts to “review the program’s priorities to make sure we can continue to make the most of the resources left to us.”
The justice is a past member of the Judicial Council and chaired the California Facilities Transitional Task Force, which oversaw development of strategies for the transfer of more than 500 court facilities from county to state responsibility. More recently, he chaired a working group that oversaw development of policies for third-party use of court facilities.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company