Opinion

Letter: The Looming Central Library Fiasco

 

According to the Union-Tribune of June 25, San Diego State University collected only a fraction, roughly 20 percent, of the amount pledged by donors to offset the costs of replacing former football coach Chuck Long. The rest was made up of money in various pots and the university was able to say, with a relatively straight face that “no state funds, student fees, or tuition money was used for the transition cost.”

Remember these words when the mayor explains, after making up new central library construction shortfall with various city funds because private contributions, now under 20 percent of the total the goal, failed to materialize, that “not one cent came out of the general fund.” He might try to use money received from the federal stimulus program, homeland security money, tobacco settlement money, and even the meager reserves he’s been able to squirrel away, but somehow the taxpayers are going to make up the shortfall on this monumental boondoggle.

There’s one big difference here, SDSU had to come up with about $1.6 million from other sources; at last count, according to the latest figures from VOSD, the city is looking at over $27 million, assuming the project comes in on budget. What was the last major city project that did that?

Right now, they are trying to entice donors with “naming rights” for various portions of the building. Brace yourself for some bad news, because there’s no way they’ll stop this project now. The politicians can visualize that plaque with all their names on it.

Bill Bradshaw lives in Mission Beach.

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Bill Bradshaw

Bill Bradshaw
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11 comments
Dennis Southwood
Dennis Southwood subscriber

Like many library patrons, I use the online catalog to search for a book, put a hold on the book, and walk to my branch library to pick the book up when I get an email telling me that the book is waiting for me. Patrons who do not have internet connections can order books by using the computers at their branch libraries. Rather than building a new main library building while gutting the branch library hours, it would make more sense to make the main building simply a warehouse designed to fulfill book requests from the branches. A state-of-the-art fulfillment system might also include home delivery of books to shut-ins, rotation of selected books through the library branches and the city's school libraries, and other services.

Avidreader
Avidreader

Like many library patrons, I use the online catalog to search for a book, put a hold on the book, and walk to my branch library to pick the book up when I get an email telling me that the book is waiting for me. Patrons who do not have internet connections can order books by using the computers at their branch libraries. Rather than building a new main library building while gutting the branch library hours, it would make more sense to make the main building simply a warehouse designed to fulfill book requests from the branches. A state-of-the-art fulfillment system might also include home delivery of books to shut-ins, rotation of selected books through the library branches and the city's school libraries, and other services.

Will Dawson
Will Dawson subscriber

or more for the inside. Way to go JERRY! Lets hope he wont star a stadium with a $ 400-500 mil shortfall hoping that the $ will come in later.

Sandawg
Sandawg

or more for the inside. Way to go JERRY! Lets hope he wont star a stadium with a $ 400-500 mil shortfall hoping that the $ will come in later.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Since it's pay to park where that library is, just raise the meter and lot rates to $50 a hour to pay for it. Problem solved!

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Since it's pay to park where that library is, just raise the meter and lot rates to $50 a hour to pay for it. Problem solved!

Richard Ross
Richard Ross subscribermember

The public having to pick up not only the donation shortfall on the original bid but the inevitable cost overruns makes our taxpayer funded General Fund tremble. But that isn't all, when one looks at the geological map of the San Diego earthquake fault lines it reveals other tremblers. The fault lines are just one half block to the right (East) of the new library. It also explains why a charter school was placed on the upper floors. As publically documented earthquake resistant structural requirements for a charter school unspecifyed and thereby cost less than for a public school. Some regard it as just another Mayor Sanders boondogle payoff to developers.

Activist
Activist

The public having to pick up not only the donation shortfall on the original bid but the inevitable cost overruns makes our taxpayer funded General Fund tremble. But that isn't all, when one looks at the geological map of the San Diego earthquake fault lines it reveals other tremblers. The fault lines are just one half block to the right (East) of the new library. It also explains why a charter school was placed on the upper floors. As publically documented earthquake resistant structural requirements for a charter school unspecifyed and thereby cost less than for a public school. Some regard it as just another Mayor Sanders boondogle payoff to developers.

Dianne Parham
Dianne Parham subscriber

As soon as they stuck the first shovel in the ground, the taxpayers were on the hook to pay for the lack of accuracy in estimating the costs of the main library...not just the building, but the operating costs have always been underestimated and don't think there is a dime for maintenance or upkeep (oh, yeah, the dome is "self-cleaning"--tell the seagulls that). I don't really trust the veracity of the people in charge of the Library Foundation, for that matter, but that's just cynical me who experienced working with them.

dialyn
dialyn

As soon as they stuck the first shovel in the ground, the taxpayers were on the hook to pay for the lack of accuracy in estimating the costs of the main library...not just the building, but the operating costs have always been underestimated and don't think there is a dime for maintenance or upkeep (oh, yeah, the dome is "self-cleaning"--tell the seagulls that). I don't really trust the veracity of the people in charge of the Library Foundation, for that matter, but that's just cynical me who experienced working with them.

Frances O'Neill Zimmerman
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman

Even if the whole shebang comes together and redounds to the credit of Mayor Jerry Sanders under whose administration every deal and corner has been cut to make the Library happen, fine. After all these years of contention and uncertainty, I'm looking forward to using our Central Library again. After all, as Mr. Bradshaw points out, I will have helped pay for it.