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Great article, but your basic numbers are wrong. For YEARS, back when the location was going to be close to the existing library that no one uses, I clearly remember the price tag was $80 million. This was back when the Padres were wanting a stadium downtown, and I remember Padres opponents saying “We can’t afford an $80 million library, but we can afford this?!” and so on.
Anyway, when it moved to the waterfront, somehow, in the middle of the night, the price tag more than doubled to $185 million (watch for it to go much higher than that). How did that happen? No one blinked an eye at this, and Todd Gloria has never explained it to me. This is while neighborhood libraries are being macheted, most people have home computers and electronic devices, so mostly bums use the library. You ever been to the existing one? I’ve been to nice, old, large, public libraries in cities like Chicago, Albuquerque and Portland, but the San Diego library scared me off after one visit.
As I’ve told Todd Gloria, the city “can’t afford” to treat its sewage like every other city in America, “can’t afford” to provide neighborhood services (hence the creation of various illegal maintenance districts, like mine in Golden Hill, so I pay twice for various services now), “can’t afford” to fix up infrastructure. But we can afford a new $200 million library very few people need or will use (and huge raises for the City Council).