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Library construction project

From: domainremoved <Rachel>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 14:02:17 -0700

Dear City Council Members,

I was dismayed to just now learn that you are still considering the Main
Library construction project, as I was under the impression that that was
no longer on the table. As I wrote in an email sent at the end of August, I
strongly urge you to graciously turn down Mr. Arrillaga's current library
offer. While free money is tempting to accept, I do not believe that this
particular deal is in the best interests of Menlo Park at this moment in

I am concerned that moving forward with this project will further postpone
and/or displace other city priorities that have already been established
and are in motion (or soon to be). Presumably, these priorities have been
set taking into account the needs and input of our citizens.

My family uses the public library frequently, and we appreciate both it's
offerings and its very existence. That said, while an updated and expanded
library would be wonderful to have, our current library is certainly
sufficient. This is not a pressing need or priority area for our town,
and it pushes out other much needed projects--including projects that
directly impact the safety and wellbeing of our children (among other

Further, I am deeply concerned about several of the 7 staff recommendations
that in the staff report. Specifically, I am concerned about the shift in
staff and the need for additional resources for a project of this size and
scope (recommendation #4). What will be cut out in order to accommodate
this new project? I am deeply wary of and concerned by staff
recommendation #7: "Increase the City Manager’s contract award authority
from $66,000 to $250,000 and waive purchasing requirements for all
contracted services required by the Library System Improvements Fund to
expedite the project." This seems reckless and irresponsible--oversight
and checking systems exist for a good reason. And recommendation #6 is of
concern as well: shifting $1million into a library fund from our general
budget means $1 million dollars less being spent towards our city's
previously established and agreed upon priority areas and goals.

Further, I am not a resident of Belle Haven but it seems to me that
allocating a mere $140,000 to cosmetic improvements--while better than
nothing--is insulting and offensive in the face of a $30-40 million upgrade
to a perfectly adequate facility across town.

I feel strongly that moving money and staff resources away from our town's
current priority areas in order to fund the rest of the library project is
wrong both for process reasons and because it's not addressing what we need
to focus on most right now.

Thank you for your consideration.


Rachel Rosner

Menlo Park Resident
Received on Tue Oct 10 2017 - 14:07:44 PDT

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