I think there is an important issue about annexation that needs to be clarified and that is the building of new library facilities.

Based on the Library Master Plan Study the Renton Public Library needs to build new facilities to get up to date with technology and to accomodate Renton’s ever-growing population (page 42). This needs to happen whether we annex to KCLS or not.

One of the arguments that the pro-annexation campaign gives for joining KCLS is the improvement of exsisting buildings and the eventual building of  new buildings. Materials out there in favor of annexation leads voters to believe that just by annexing into KCLS we will get new buildings. This is very misleading and it is not true.

Under KCLS Renton residents will eventually get new buildings but they will have to pay additional for it. Let me state that again, the increase in taxes that residents will see if they annex into KCLS will not pay for new library buildings. When KCLS feels it is the right time for Renton to get new library buildings it will hold an election asking voters to increase their property taxes once again to pay for new buildings.

Now, here is something that has bothered me about annexation from the very beginning. After Renton residents pay for a new building it will not be property of the City of Renton, ownership of the new building and the property that it sits on will be given – or as the document states “title would transfer to KCLS(page 2 first bullet point). The City of Renton, essentially its residents, will have no stake in the new library that they just paid to build. This seems to be the tiny detail that the pro-annexation campaign always seems to leave out.

If voters decide to keep the Renton Public Library independent and voters decide to fund new libraries the citizens of Renton can be assured that the Renton Public Library will be owned by the City and it’s residents.

Please pass this information along to anyone who is thinking that annexation is the right move for the Renton Public Library:

  • Annexation to KCLS does not give Renton new library buildings.
  • Residents will have increased taxes to pay for a building that won’t even be owned by the City.
  • New buildings have to adhere to KCLS complex site selection criteria which is great for corporations or those on a quest for global library domination but not great for Renton.

Vote No On Prop 1

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