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New Main Library

From: domainremoved <Casey>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 22:00:41 -0700

Dear Council Members,


I wanted to share my thoughts on the proposed new main library, which I
oppose for the following reasons:



   - Our current library seems more than adequate. In fact, I distinctly
   remember how pleasantly surprised I was with the facility when I first
   moved to MP 2 years ago. This seems to be a matter of perspective – this
   library compares very favorably to those I frequented in NM, TX, and NYC,
   but if the baseline is the new Palo Alto library I can see where some are
   coming from. A more reasonable and cost-effective approach (after
   addressing Belle Haven) would be to remodel and reconfigure the current
   space to create more supply of the oversubscribed services.
   - While exploring taking Mr. Arrillaga’s very generous offer is the
   prudent thing to do, even a heavily discounted new main library potentially
   takes resources from more pressing needs such as local infrastructure,
   affordable housing stock, childcare services etc. Moving forward feels like
   buying something we don’t need just because it is on sale.
   - The options being presented to the council were developed from a
   seemingly faulty process. Every report I’ve seen either relied on a skewed
   sample or problematic question framing. The needs assessment that has been
   used as an input and justification for each site mockup is particularly
   flimsy.

With that said, my sense is that you will decide to move forward in some
manner on May 22nd (and that is certainly understandable). In that case I
have the following suggestions:


   - Take a close look at the site alternatives and the notes from the
   siting meetings. Staff seems to be recommending the Laurel site primarily
   to avoid short-term cost and disruption. The case for the Alma site seems
   stronger if you take a long-term view (preserve trees and current park
   character, less traffic on Laurel, no need to make up a compelling use for
   the legacy site) and aligns with the bulk of community feedback.
   - Put the issue before voters. Perhaps this is going to happen anyway
   (I’ve heard conflicting views on whether a bond measure is a given) but a
   vote would be clearest way to get explicit community support (or put the
   issue to rest). I suspect a bond measure would fail based on the data
   points we have so far, but I would be happy to be wrong if there is clear
   support from the community.
   - For future projects task a neutral 3rd party with developing needs
   studies and characterizing public input (when feasible).

Thanks for considering my views and for your continued service.


Casey Estes

297 Waverley, MP

979-204-8545
-- 
Casey Estes
979-204-8545
Received on Mon May 21 2018 - 22:01:56 PDT

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