Sunday, February 8, 2009

About the polls conducted by the Library

First of all, I want to thank the gentleman that left this comment. I welcome the opportunity to answer your questions and address concerns. As a librarian, giving good information in a timely fashion is what I do!

Here was the comment:
"It's one thing that ask if the Libary Expansion should go on ballot but another to vote in favor of the tax increase. These are separate questions that should be asked in all your polling. If you can not get above 50% on the poll to vote in favor there is no sense to have this on the ballot - because it will fail. I would rather not to have the north branch and concentrate solely on the expansion of the downtown facility."

Unfortunately, the Library cannot use taxpayer dollars on a poll that asks directly for support on a ballot measure. The Board considered exactly that poll and were advised by legal counsel that they could not ask that question. The poll question used was the best information they could get using taxpayer money to determine if it was still appropriate to proceed with placing the question on the ballot in April.

The downtown facility's size is constrained by site and zoning. 70,000 sq ft of library space is the maximum facility size. But that would only meet today's need, with no space for any future growth. The proposed north side branch allows for growth for 12-15 years.

Because libraries generally build about once every 20 years (not only is that the "life expectancy" of a public building, it is also the standard length of municipal bonds), that planning horizon (2010-2030) was the focus of the planning process over the last 2 1/2 years. The Board of Trustees scaled back the plan from the 134,000 sq ft needed by 2030 to the 100,000 sq ft total included in the expansion plan today. Their goal in this was to balance today's need and future growth in an affordable plan.

Leave comments. Ask questions. I will respond.

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