independent library


I am not going to lie to you, yesterday was a tough day. I already knew that the “no” votes were never going to catch-up in the polls but it was not until yesterday that it sunk in – we did not win the election. However, I managed not to shed too many tears and I’ll leave it at that.

We realize that for some an election is a fair representation of what the people want and now that the people have spoken we should just retire to our separate corners and bask in the glory that is KCLS but I am not there yet. Normally, I would agree with someone that an election is a way for the public to voice their opinions and majority rules. But in this case things are not that cut and dry – here is the wrinkle. The City of Renton lied, okay maybe lie is a bit of an overstatement but the City of Renton provided mis-information to its citizens  and we feel that the mis-information caused voters to vote a certain way.

I know that during campaigns there is a lot of information that is thrown around by supporters and opponents of whatever issue is at hand and it is up to the voter to decipher between what is fact and what isn’t. But when it comes to information that is provided by your own City a voter should be assured that it is correct. The City had stated time and time again that they are not allowed to have an opinion about annexation one way or the other – if you remember correctly the librarians were not even allowed to give their opinion. So, one should be able to assume that the information that is provided to them by a City is accurate and un-biased, especially if that City is going to use a utility bill to distribute that information.

So, with that being said our fight for a free and fair election devoid of government interference is now on. We had our attorney, John Martin, file a letter with the Attorney General of Washington asking them to look into this matter with the Public Disclosure Commission and they have 45 days to act on it. If they don’t it is our intention to sue to City of Renton ourselves. Of course that is not what we want to do so we are exhausting all other options first.

Like, I said earlier I know for some people the fight ends with the election and that is fine but if you want to the City of Renton to be held accountable for buying this annexation election this is the place you need to be.

Thanks for reading and thanks for everyone’s support during the election process – we know that the vote would not have been as close as it was without the help of everyone out there that voted “no”.

Our website is the best place to keep up to date with everything that is going on with our PDC complaint and the AG, please note that this is the .com version of Save Renton Library. Leave a comment or use the form below to get in contact with us to find out how you can help. Thanks so much…

I would have never guessed when we started the process that the election would be separated by only 46 votes. By now we should know the winner, but we don’t. Over here at the Vote No/Save Renton Library campaign we can’t help but think that this small margin of votes can be linked back to the bogus information that the City of Renton made available to voters.

So, this process has turned from saving our beloved institution and it’s staff to holding the City of Renton accountable for their mistakes and not letting them take advantage of voters. Maybe this is just a bad time to be in government but people are fed up with the actions of our elected officials and the bureaucrats that are working behind the scenes. The Federal Government has them and so does Renton.

The City of Renton mailed an informational flyer in the December 2009 utility bill that was supposed to be “factual” not to sway voters one way or the other just mearly there to provide facts. Well, guess what we looked into the facts, because that is what we have done from the beginning of this campaign, and we found that they were wrong. Members of our group demanded that the City offer a retraction, which they did but it was too late. Ballots had been mailed and votes had already been cast. Not only that but the City did not issue a retraction in the next utility bill they just posted a tiny link on their website that made note of their mistake.

The library is one part of this fight. In fact if the library and it’s staff were not so great the voters may not be this worked up but the library is great, the staff is amazing and it is a part of Renton and we will fight to keep it where it belongs. Then come re-election year the politicians can fight for their seats.

If you know anyone that voted “yes” based on the bogus information put out by the City of Renton, who then wanted to change their vote once a retraction was made we want to hear from you. Please contact us through a comment or through the contact form, we really believe there are 50 people out there who wish they could take back there vote we just need to find them.

Please use the form below to contact us  – thanks

There is no denying that the election is very close, almost a tie and still a few more votes that need counted. We are hearing on the streets, in the library and around the internet that voters are not really happy with the overall conduct of the City of Renton during the election and some of the actions of King County Elections.

At this point the Save Renton Library campaign is planning our next move and awaiting the final election results. If you would like to complain to the City of Renton, King County Elections or the Public Disclosure Commission we are encouraging people to do so. Please use the following links to make filing your complaint easy.

Thanks so much for continuing to support the Independent Renton Library – the fight is not over.

King County Elections

The City of Renton

Looking at the King County Elections webpage there are still over 30,000 ballots out.

Go get your ballot, mark “NO” and put it in the mail or run it over to the box.

Your vote counts and we need it to make sure that Renton Public Library stays Independent.

Thanks so much for your votes and your support.

In the glossy trifold mailer that some Renton voters received there is some information that paints a rather doomsday situation for the Renton Public Library should the voters decide to remain independent. Well, here at the Vote No and Save Renton Library campaign we are committed to providing all of the information to voters so they can make informed decisions. Let’s look at some of the scare tactics this trifold mailer has used….

“If we fail to annex to KCLS, the city will be forced to cut Library services, reduce branch and staff hours, and face the possibility of facility closures and staff reduction.” That sounds pretty dire but let’s look at what is really going to happen effective March 2010 should the Renton Public Library remain independent. The following information is from Bette Anderson Library Director.

If voters decide to keep the Renton Public Library independent there will  be some budget cuts for the year 2010, the total amount cut out of the budget will be around $220,000 for the year.

Yes, there will be cuts to library hours but there is nothing in the information that Bette gave me that states either facility will have to close. Branch hours for the Main Branch would be reduced by 10 hours a week and the Highlands Branch would be reduced by 8 hours per week. Please keep in mind that these reductions in open hours are temporary.

“If Prop 1 fails staff will be cut effective March 1st”. This is another very misleading statement from the pro-annexation campaign. No full-time staff members will be losing their jobs. Six part-time employees will be eliminated – 1 librarian intern, 1 clerk and 4 pages. There will be reduced hours for 4 part-time positions and funding for substitutes and vacation relief will be cut.

Other cuts for the year include a reduction in the budget for library materials. This budget will be cut by 30% and regional courier service will be eliminated. This means that the library will have less money to order additional high-demand items which could lead to longer wait times or more referrals to other libraries. The cut in courier service means changes to the Interlibrary Loan process, some items may not be available since some libraries may not ship items through the mail. There has been a complete loss of funding for staff travel and training and a cut of 75% for paid performers for children’s programs.

Again all of these changes are temporary. During these tough economic times we are seeing reductions in services across the board and the library is no different. We realize that these budget reductions are an inconvenience and once the election results have been verified we can start working on a plan to get the library funding to the level it needs to be. Reinstating Friends of the Library, pending approval by Bette Anderson, is just the beginning of that process for the community.

Let’s not forget that KCLS has its own Prop 1 out there right now and if they do not get the additional funding from voters they have said that they will be forced to make similar budget cuts, “In 2009, KCLS cut $1.9 million out of the operating budget for materials (books, magazines, DVDs, books on tape, etc.), technology, administration and facility maintenance. In addition, KCLS sought private funding to support a number of programs and services. KCLS now needs to ask voters to restore the library levy rate for one year to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value, to be collected in 2011. The restored revenue will enable KCLS to preserve the current level of library service, programs and resources at all 44 libraries, and maintain outreach services to community centers, low-income daycare facilities, and to the elderly and homebound.” From the KCLS website.

You see noone is immune to the current economic situation so don’t give up on the Renton Public Library – Vote No on Prop 1!

Everyone makes mistakes. But some people might be making a mistake when they vote because they have been given misleading information.

Renton For KCLS Now, with the help of City Councilman King Parker, have put together a very convincing flyer that tells Renton voters all of the great reasons they should be voting “yes” on the annexation to KCLS. While we have already shown you all of the inconsistencies in this flyer we fear that our message may have reached some of you a little late.

Joining KCLS will cost Renton taxpayers millions of additional taxes that are just not necessary to get our library funding up to the level that it needs to be. In fact the tax burden that will be put on Renton taxpayers is so great the Renton For KCLS Now flyer does not even mention how much of a tax increase residents will see in their property tax statement. Now, if joining KCLS is so great and cost-effective wouldn’t that information be all over the flyer? Well, it’s not and that is because this flyer is misleading and it is having an effect on the way that people are voting.

If you feel that you have made an error in voting “yes” for library annexation you still have a chance to fix it. You can pick up a replacement ballot at the King County election office. Make sure that your vote gets counted – make sure that it is the vote that you wanted counted. There is still time to change your vote, visit the King County Election website to find out where you can get a replacement ballot and thank you for making the extra effort to keep the Renton Public Library Local.

Vote NO on Prop 1

At this point I feel like there needs to be a little clarification regarding our group and our mission.

Those people who are in favor of annexation to KCLS have painted this real “doomsday” scenario for the Renton Public Library. They would have voters believe that if the Renton Public Library does not annex to KCLS our beloved library is going to crumble into the Cedar River the day after the election.

Our group has never denied the fact that the Renton Public Library is underfunded or that it has been underfunded for years, we know that. One of our biggest complaints about the annexation vote is that Renton residents were never given a chance to improve the library funding on their own. Now it would appear that Renton residents have only one choice – annex into KCLS or have library funding remain at the current level.

Save Renton Library and the Vote No campaign are both well aware that funding for the Renton Public Library needs to be increased and we want to work with the City to see that happens in a manner that benefits Renton not KCLS.

Up to this point our focus has been defeating Prop 1 and I think part of our message has been lost. Saving the Renton Public Library is just the first part of this movement that so many people have worked hard to create. After the election is over you are going to see this movement work hard to reinstate Friends of the Library and work with City Council to introduce a bond measure that benefits the library and is cost effective for Renton taxpayers – this is just the beginning.

So, please don’t think that the Save Renton Library and Vote No Til You Know group is not in this for the long haul. This is just the first step of a movement to keep the Renton Public Library local, independent and up to date.

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