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Jerry Brown's frugality guides transition office choice

November 5, 2010 |  4:47 pm

In a demonstration of the frugality he often riffed about during his campaign, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown won’t be asking taxpayers to rent him office space for his transition team, aides said Friday.

Brown has decided to open his main transition office in unused space in the Department of Justice building in Sacramento. The draw, in addition to its proximity to the attorney general’s existing office?

"It’s at no cost," said Tom Quinn, a leading member of Brown’s transition team.

The campaign briefly considered opening its transition office in an old Weinstock’s department store building in Sacramento, but decided to go with the unused space in the Department of Justice office building already owned by the state at 1300 I St. in Sacramento.

In addition to the main transition office, some staff will operate out of Brown’s campaign headquarters in Oakland, said Sterling Clifford, a Brown campaign spokesman.

The state has set aside $770,000 to pay for Brown’s transition into office.

"This gives the Governor-elect approximately two months to formulate policies and to incorporate them in the various programs included in the budget, which will be transmitted to the Legislature," the transition budget document says.

Asked about the amount allocated for the transition this week, Brown said, "I would seriously doubt whether anything near that amount would be required."

Quinn said the amount budgeted could pay for a staff of 35 to 45 people, but with so many people volunteering on the transition, including Quinn, he doesn’t think that many people will be needed on the payroll.

In addition to Quinn, Brown is also getting help on the transition from Chief Deputy Atty. Gen. James Humes, who the governor-elect said was brought on "to help me staff it up."

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento