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Monday, July 17, 2006 | The main downtown library should be put to a vote.

This library was one of the center pieces of the last two bond measures, Prop. L in 1999 and Prop. A in about 1997. Both times the people voted down those measures. What’s different now? Is the city so much better off financially than in 1999 or 1997? I don’t think so! On the contrary, we’re in a big deficit! The $85 million extra required to build it will just be the very start. There will the inevitable cost overruns and then we have to find the money to operate it. If the city can’t come up with the money to get started, how are they going to find the money when it’s way over budget? And even if we get it built, are we going to rob the city’s operating money for local neighborhood libraries to keep this one big one open? I don’t think that’s wise. Besides, it’s going to have close every time there’s a baseball game ’cause there won’t be any access and they’ll need the parking for baseball fans.

Let’s vote. And if the citizens want it this time (when they didn’t want it before) then they’ll only have themselves to blame when it needs a ton more money. Otherwise, let the citizens vote it down and then we can close the book on this ill-conceived, poorly planned, poorly located, and poorly designed monstrosity.

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