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Reader And You Are? wrote:

“Scott: you say you are a taxpayer advocate, but you propose a Library boondoggle at taxpayer’s expense. and in your futile campaign for school board you were a tool of labor—proposing big hikes in teacher pay. Next time you write, drop your “taxpayer advocate” title and just go with “Former political consultant” or something accurate.”

This dyspeptic chap wants to know more about me. Go to link and you can see my bio and our fiscal and economic studies from last several years. I found being called a “tool of labor” quite amusing. What/who am I? I will confess. I am a MARXIST! Yes it’s true. (Not of the Karl variety, but a Groucho Marxist.) Groucho said he would “not want to belong to any club in which I was a member.” That has essentially been my philosophy. But most of all I like to call them as I see them. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I think it is my NY Blood (even though I have been in Diego since 1973)

Reader La Mesa Bookworm wrote:

“Get a grip Barnett! You know that it is the operating cost and not the outlandish building concpet that is the real problem here. Tracy Jarman is begging for staff and someone really believes there is enough money stashed away to keep this White Elephant open for more than a few hours a week. Instead lets give the City a cheer for building some swell neighborhood libraries where the people live. If the City does have money to staff a downtown behemoth use it to extend hours in the branches.”

Bookworm says: “Get a grip Barnett,” correctly pointing out (as I did in my piece) the ongoing operating costs ($6 million a year?). Bookworm also illustrates the Main vs. Branches debate which has been going on for decades. You see illustrated the “Branches” (people) vs. the “Main library” (downtown echo-chamber/establishment types want as an icon to learning) debate. The Murphy Council “solved it” by saying we could have our cake and Library books too by approving a (then) $300 million Main Library AND Branches plan. The bigger issue is: are libraries obsolete? My girls (now in 5th and 7th grade) started on computers in pre-school. The knowledge of the universe at their finger tips. Many less solvent families are unable to give their children this basic tool. Maybe that’s where we should focus our resources?”

Reader Simple Guy wrote:

“Brilliant! $118 million should be more than enough to build a beautiful downtown library! Who, in addition to Scott Barnett, will take up this cause and make it happen? Anyone? Sanders? Peters? Faulconer? Graham? Bueller? Bueller?”

Simple Guy calls me “Brilliant” (is this really YOU Mom?) But I am confused? (Which is not an unusual state of mind for me to be in.) Who is: Graham? Bueller? Ferris Bueller maybe?”

Reader Joe wrote:

“Let’s do it. Thanks for offering real, sober ideas. Let’s make sure that staffing and material budgets are sufficient. Unfortunately, Jerry Sanders can’t see any money or power in it for him. Where have all the great civic leaders gone?”

Joe made an assumption as to my sobriety when I penned this Café piece. Then asks: “Where have all the great civic leaders gone?” My view is there aren’t any in this region. I have never witnessed a place where so many people want power but do not want to (or know how to) use it when they get it

Reader jorgeelgato wrote:

“I think Santa will probably give the city fathers (& mothers) what they deserve: biodegradable lumps of reindoor pooh. (Lumps of coal are sooooo last century.) As for Santa Scott: don’t give up your day job, pal — the REAL Santa has locked up the franchise on turning hopeless, desperate and unfunded dreams into reality.”

I guess a Charlie Brown Christmas is still my standard.

Reader ike39 wrote:

“The Scott Barnett figures for the library state that there are $18 M in donations in addition to the $20 M state grant and $80 M from the CCDC. The Scott Lewis pizza showed $3 M in donations, plus the state grant and the CCDC funds. So, the $15 M is coming from what source(s)? The Scott Lewis article stated that library boosters declined to say where the $15 M is coming from. The Scott Lewis article also said that there would be some shrinkage in funds due to increased construction costs. It is time for all revenue sources to be identified and published. If the $15 M is not identified it falls into the category of “blue sky”

Anyone know?

Reader Dale Peterson wrote:

“I love this. No financial responsibility!”

Actually Dale under my “plan” the $$ ARE already allocated for the library. What I am saying is let’s just do it using this as the “cap” not a penny more. It can be done if the city wishes to. Whom do I represent? Only me (and my multiple personalities) Regarding streets (for next blog post if they let me) The $$ are already there — in the city budget — they have just NOT been used as required. But I will leave details for another day.”

Reader Mel wrote:

“Factual errors in your library story. CCDC cannot fund the library. You have confused the Redevelopment Agency with CCDC. The Redevelopment Agency is the city council, so it is up to them,notCCDC to provide the money.I don’t blame you for these errors, since CCDC wants you to believe they have powers they don’t have.”

If you want to get technical it is the City Council who has ultimate responsibility/power of all redevelopment funds. But CCDC is the city-council appointed body that proposes how the funds be spent.

— SCOTT BARNETT

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