Proposition 1


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

Advertisements

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

This election is not over Renton Library lovers. The numbers are very close and I am sure King County Elections is going to have a large number of ballots that show up in the mail today.

As of last night at 8:15pm the vote was 51.33% YES votes and 48.67% NO. According to King County Elections website they had received 880 votes that were not counted and I expect that we will see another 500+ votes being received today as well. This election is not over we still have a chance.

If you were one of many people who dropped their ballot into the drop box at the old elections office on Grady please contact the King County Elections office to make sure that your vote was counted.

The count is really close right now and I for one am not giving up hope that when all the votes have been counted we will still have a Renton Public Library. Thanks so much for your support and your vote.

The Seattle Times ran an article about the other Prop 1 that is on the ballot for those already in the KCLS service area.

Those of you who are thinking about voting “yes” need to understand that your taxes for library service could potentially go up every year from here on out. As the article points outs the information provided in the voters pamphlet by KCLS is misleading. The voters pamphlet makes the tax increase look like a one time deal when in fact it sets the rate for the tax base at $0.50 per $1,000 A/V. In the future when the library is in need of more funding the rate will go even higher.

This is not the time to impose such a big tax increase on Renton voters, especially when that rate will be raised when KCLS says it needs to. As we have stated time and time again on this blog Renton libraries can get the improvements that they need with a smaller and temporary tax increase.

If you have not already voted please get your ballot, mark “no” and put it in the mail. Let’s keep KCLS out of our Renton library, keep taxes down and keep local control.

VOTE “NO” ON PROP 1

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!

Yesterday the City of Renton was forced to issue a press release that informed voters the City had miscalculated the cost of remaining independent in the FAQ Booklet that was made available to voters. This information was also dispersed in the City’s utility bill so there is a lot of “miscalculated” information floating around out there. I wanted to make a few comments about the cost comparison.

First of all, the re-configured numbers should show that the cost of remaining independent and making library improvements is significantly cheaper then annexing to KCLS. In my opinion the City should have shown voters the cost of annexation should the other Prop 1 pass. In their table they only show the cost of the $0.42 KCLS operations levy which makes the cost of annexation $0.59 per $1,000. If the other Prop 1 passes the cost for annexation with a $0.50 operations levy would be $0.67 per $1,000. By now you know that we love to point out the fact that you will still be paying the City of Renton the $0.21 that funds the library right now so your total cost in taxes is $0.88 per $1,000. The cost to improve funding of the Renton Library and build new facilities is $0.60 per $1,000 based on the City’s new calculations.

Not only is that a savings to voters we also get to keep total local control of our library, our library staff does not have to “cluster” and the City of Renton will keep ownership of the new library buildings and all the materials inside. Mayor Law stated that the corrected figures don’t make either option more affordable then the other but that is just not the case.

Those in favor of annexation say that Renton residents will never vote on a levy to increase library funding let alone build new buildings but to that I ask then why would they vote to annex to KCLS? A vote to annex to KCLS is a vote for A NEW TAX. Property tax, levy, bond – I don’t care what you call it, a tax is a tax.

Renton voters do not be fooled. Annexation is not the answer for the future of the Renton public library. In fact it is the worst thing that could happen to our libraries.

Keep Renton Libraries and your tax dollars where they belong – in Renton.

Vote No on Prop 1

Next Page »