save renton 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…

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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

The anticipation is killing me. Looks like we will not know the results till tomorrow, maybe? Randy Corman said it may end up being a recount but I wondered if in a local election like this if that is going to happen and if it does happen who pays for it.

Everyone who voted should track their ballot to make sure that their vote has been counted, especially those who dropped their ballot in the box that was left on Grady Way. You can check the status of your ballot here.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that those last votes are on our side.

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 following is my educated guess on what might happen to Renton libraries should voters decide to annex into the King County Library System. Again, these are just my own ideas but I think they could be a real possibility, especially if you read between the lines.

We already know that KCLS has no immediate plans to build Renton a new library. We have been promised some new lighting, maybe some computer upgrades, additional open hours and some signage – lots and lots of signage. Those are the immediate improvements that patrons can expect to see once annexation into the KCLS system happens, that and a longer wait time for books, a less browseable selection and a “clustered” staffing model.

Newcastle is scheduled to have a new library built starting March 2010. If KCLS has to close the Newcastle branch at any time during the construction process they will surely encourage patrons to visit the Highlands Branch as it would be in close proximity to them. After the new library is completed in New Castle I believe we would see the Highlands Branch closed and people in that area encouraged to visit the new 10,000 sq ft Newcastle Library being that they are only 5 miles apart.

If Renton decides to annex its libraries into KCLS there is no doubt in my mind that Fairwood would annex into the City of Renton. As some of you know Fairwood is scheduled for a 5,000 sq ft upgrade in 2012. During that construction process it can be assumed that the Fairwood Branch would shut down and people would be encouraged to visit the Renton Branch.  

By the time the Fairwood expansion is completed, Skyway will have made their decision whether or not to annex into the City of Renton. Per the Capitol Bond Improvement Project, Skyway is slated for a new 8,000 sq ft library building pending annexation.

The following is taken from the “Agreement Regarding Library Services in the Event of Annexation”, it is dated July 31, 2009 and has been signed by Mayor Denis Law and KCLS Director Bill Ptacek.

“6. Facilities Development Coordination. KCLS has plans to develop a new library in Skyway and to expand its Fairwood library, each in an area identified for potential annexation to the City. In the event that such areas do annex to the City, KCLS and the City agree to coordinate the development of these projects with the development of the proposed replacement facilities for the Main and Highlands Libraries. KCLS also has plans to develop a new library in the East Hill area of Kent, which would serve certain areas of Renton, including the Benson Hill area. In the event of a successful annexation election of the City into KCLS, KCLS and the City also agree to coordinate the development of this project with the development of the proposed replacement facilities for the Main and Highlands Libraries. In any such case, such coordination might enable KCLS to participate in the funding of the development of the replacement facilities for the Main and Highlands Libraries. “

You really don’t have to be a genius to figure this one out, the agreement pretty much speaks for itself. KCLS will use the Renton library as a hub until completion of its Capitol Bond Improvements and then instead of giving Downtown Renton a new library building it will direct residents to the many new library buildings that are technically in the City of Renton. KCLS could also look like the hero to some – providing Renton with access to 4 new library buildings -2 within the city, 2 just out of the city and there would be no reason for the City to vote on a bond for a new library building.

I think this is a real possibility for the future of our libraries. Together KCLS and the City have not given voters a guarantee that annexation will mean a new library in Downtown Renton or in the Highlands for that matter. If you think annexation is a good idea because Renton will get a new library building you better ask yourself where that new library will be located.

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.

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