@runner101 - Typically, I am not sure how government buildings are made and who the chooses the architecture. But I have heard, when it comes to big projects they will requests bids and then there is review board of some sort that selects the best or their favorite bid. I am not sure what they base the choice on - whether it is aesthetics or price or a combination of many things.
There are some pretty famous bidding wars where not-so-famous architects were chosen or committees had difficulty choosing such as the architecture plans for the Sidney Opera House and for the landscape architecture of Central Park in New York City.
But you are right, in many cases I am happy to see a boring city building because we as taxpayers are paying for it, but I am also happy for beautiful buildings as well - I love buildings that astound the eye or even things that are not even buildings but become icons such as the St. Louis Arch. I went up in the arch and it was absolutely worth the time it took to see it.