If you have not already done so you need to pick up the City of Renton’s Potential Annexation to the King County Library System FAQ booklet that is available at the Renton Public Library or by clicking here or download as a PDF here. While the City of Renton is supposed to take a neutral position in presenting the facts to voters, one might interpret the “facts” as heavily in favor of annexing to KCLS.

On page 3 it states that “Strategic investments are necessary in order to maintain and improve library services in the future. The current funding model coupled with the City’s current financial situation prevents the City from making investments in desired upgrades and enhancements to library services and facilities. Doing nothing to change the funding model will result in future library service cuts that could range from reduced branch and staff hours to closing facilities.”

 This should not be a suprise to anyone, Library Lover told us yesterday that the library has been underfunded for years but up until this point, that I know of, nothing has ever been done by the City of Renton to remedy the situation. Renton voters have never been given the chance in a “special election” to give more tax dollars to the Renton Public Library. It would seem from this pamphlet that annexing to KCLS is the only option that the library has and that is just not the case. Also, let me just point something out. This is the worst recession that we have had in 30 years so I understand that the City is in a position where it has to make cuts to the budget but the recession is not going to last forever, in fact they say there are signs that it is over (ha, ha). But the point is are we just supposed to let go of our library that has been a part of our community for over 100 years just because the whole country is in a recession?

So, are we to believe that if we do not annex to KCLS our library will deteriorate and crash into the Cedar River below? That is what the City might want you to think but that is just not so. If we, the voters, say no to KCLS then we can decide how to start having more money fund one of the best independent libraries out there.

No matter if we annex to KCLS or remain independent Renton residents will be paying more taxes for library services in the future but that is a blog for tomorrow, maybe.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to help spread the word about keeping our library local then join us this Sunday, December 6th at 2pm at A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub in Renton for our next Vote No ‘Til You Know meeting. A Terrible Beauty is located at 201 Williams Ave South in Renton. Also, be on the lookout for us concerned citizens this weekend as we hand out flyers at Clam Lights and the Piazza Renton Tree Lighting Ceremony.