Check out the article in the Seattle Times about our efforts to save the Renton Library.

Let’s keep the pressure on the City to do the right thing and take whatever action they can to stop the election results from being verified on Wednesday. Come to Renton City Hall on Monday at 7pm and let your voice be heard or just put your butt in a seat to let the City know that we are aware of what they are doing.

We can not let the library go without fighting till the very end and we need to let the City know that the way they have conducted themselves during this election is not acceptable and it will not stand.

If you would like to speak at City Council make sure you show up a few minutes early so that you can sign up. Hope to see lots of people there and hope to see City Council, sans Marcie Palmer, squirm in their seats.

Thanks so much for this last push of support we need it and the library staff needs it – this process has shown what a great community Renton has despite some of it’s elected officials and Renton truly is a great place to live.

After I went back and read the KCLS fact sheet again I saw that they said “there is a lot of misinformation being propagated among opponents of joining KCLS.” It took a few minutes but it really started to bug me because throughout this whole campaign we have tried to bring the voters the facts and I think we have done a good job of it. So, with that being said I will comment on a few more of the “facts” that Renton For KCLS Now has on their webpage – one of which was corrected today.

MYTH: KCLS will take over ownership of the existing Main Branch over the Cedar River and the Highlands branch Library buildings.

The “Vote No” campaign has never stated that the current library facilities would be owned by KCLS. We have continuously pointed out the fact that when new library facilities are built the taxpayers of Renton will pay for these buildings and then the City will turn ownership of these buildings over to KCLS. KCLS does not deny that the City will have to pay for these new buildings or the fact that they will be the owners of buildings they did not have to pay for.

MYTH: Current Renton Library staff would lose their jobs.

We have never stated that Renton Library Staff would lose their jobs after annexation. We have wondered about the future of positions that would be redudant with current KCLS staff but there is so much uncertainity in that we have not brought it up.  We have however stated how things will change for Renton library staff. Here are a few examples

  • A loss of benefits for spouses and dependent children
  • A loss of seniority – a lot of Renton Library Staff have worked for the library over 10 years, some over 20 years
  • A loss of contribution to deferred retirement plan
  • Loss of sick and vacation time
  • Renton Library Staff would be “clustered”

It seems unfortunate that an organization with an operating budget of over $90M can not provide a compensation package that is comparable to the one our own City can  to our library staff that has served our community so well.

I just want to say this here, in tough economic times I am sure the library staff, like every other employed person out there, is grateful that they have a job. But it is tough to hear that the City of Renton cares about their employees while favoring annexation.

One more for now…

MYTH: If Renton Libraries stay independent the quality of our facilities and services will remain, at minimum, equal to the current levels.

Renton For KCLS Now is great, they follow this statement with “Fact: If nothing is done to change the current funding model”, the thing to note here is “if nothing is done”. Well, whether we annex to KCLS or remain independent in the future something will be done to change the current funding model and we will make sure of that.

Stay tuned there is more to come in the KCLS “Fact” series.

I saw something very cool tonight as I made my first climb up Renton Hill. I looked over to my left and on the corner of Houser and Mill is a “Vote No” sign! It was so cool, I jabbed my friend and said “look at the sign”.

We made our way up the hill and as I started to look at the doors I noticed that house after house had Vote No flyers rubber banded to their doors. We are out there and we are making a difference.

Thanks to everyone who is out there working hard, let’s keep it up only a few weeks left.

Get involved here

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

Vote No on Prop 1

Last night the Renton City Council put a public meeting on the agenda to further discuss the annexation to KCLS. The room was filled with individuals who oppose the annexation to KCLS and they let the Renton City Council know it.

We just want to say “Thank You” to all who showed up to show your support for the Renton Public Library, even if we did not sway individuals on the City Council to change their positions we definitely made them think.

Thanks again and with the support of this awesome Renton community we can Save the Renton Public Library. Let’s keep the momentum, if you would like to get involved to help save the library just let us know by leaving a comment, or using the contact form below. We can do this…

If you were not at the meeting you can watch the replay on Channel 21, check out the replay schedule here.

Vote No on Prop 1

Up to this point we have been talking about what the cost of annexation to KCLS would mean to the residents of Renton. Well, annexation will have an impact on everyone in Renton, especially business owners.

All property owners in Renton are required to pay property tax, if annexation to KCLS passes that means that property tax on businesses will also increase. Please note that not all business owners in Renton are property owners, most have landlords. An increase in property taxes for building owners can only mean an increase in rent prices for our business owners. This translates in higher prices for the goods and services provided by these businesses.

Have you seen Downtown Renton lately? We have had a lot of businesses close lately and  we can not afford to put any additional financial burden on our beloved businesses, the terrible state of the economy has already done this.

Library annexation will affect EVERYONE – property owners, business owners, library staff, library patrons, non-library patrons and all people who frequent Renton business.

Vote No on Prop 1. Help our business owners keep their overhead low so that they can continue to operate their businesses here in Renton – We need them. If you know a business owner in Renton pass this information on the them, they deserve to know that they can be impacted by this.

Vote No on Prop 1