I am sure that almost anyone you would ask on San Juan Island would agree that we need to have a functioning library. It is an asset to our community and the entire staff of our branch are exceptional people who truly want to serve this community. The existing library is not ideal. Anyone that has been there understands its limitations.
I can imagine that our library leadership have spent many years conjuring up their dream library. What would they include if funds were unlimited? The reality however is, funds are limited and the current plan for our $20 million dollar new library is over extravagant and excessively priced for our small populace. Asking for a $12 million dollar bond is yet another burden on the property owners of our island.
A group that far too many government agencies keep coming back to again and again as if they are an unlimited resource having little regard to financial strain imposed. It is especially a slap in the face of all carrying this tax burden to do this during the worst economy in 40 years and that follows the recent sucker punch from the County Assessor.
On top of the truly outrageous price tag, the new library would demolish a building that seems ripe to become affordable housing with all of the bones in place. The reality is, we need work force and seasonal housing a lot more then we need a grandiose, showplace that is described more like a social services complex than a library.
That dream library was probably fun to imagine but bottom line reality needs to be re-evaluated. A beautiful modest library worthy of the wonderful residents of San Juan Island, should be able to be built without this exorbitant albatross around the necks of hard working taxpayers for the next two decades.
San Juan Island