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

After Monday’s City Council meeting where the Vote Knower’s made an appearance, King Parker City Council President, decided that a Pro and Con discussion about library annexation was needed at the next City Council Meeting. Each side will be given 10 minutes to present their side and then a 5 minute rebuttal period will follow.

If you would like to say something in support of the library you can. There is an audience comment portion of the meeting. All you have to do is sign-up prior to the meeting. Audience comments are limited to 5 minutes.

Here is your chance to show your support for our cause, I want the seats at the next Council Meeting filled with people who support our local Renton Public Library. The meeting will be held on Monday, January 11th at 7pm. Tell everyone you know about this meeting, let’s show the City Council that we are not going to let our library go without a fight.

Thanks so much for your support in this matter and if you want to get involved just contact us. You can use the form below. If you can not make the meeting, you can show your support by voting  No on Prop 1

In the FAQ Brochure that is so frequently discussed here the City has provided  a little table on page 9 that compares the costs of providing library services with the Renton Library System and the King County Library System. Under the “Annex to KCLS” columns the city has omitted the $0.26 that is currently paid by residents for library services. Our campaign has taken issue with this from the very beginning, questioning whether or not the city will stop collecting this money if residents decide to annex to KCLS. Well, not wanting to speculate on any matter here I decided to go right to the City for an answer and here is what I found out.

A few weeks ago I sent an email to the City…

“currently residents pay $0.26 in property taxes and other taxes to fund the library. If voters decide to annex to KCLS it is assumed that residents will no longer have to pay this $0.26 in taxes any longer. How does this translate to tax payers, how and where will they see these savings? Will their property taxes be decreased in any way? How will the savings that are promised by annexing to KCLS be given back to tax payers.”

Marty Wine, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, was so kind as to get back to me with this response…

“The short answer: those decisions haven’t been made and options exist. The equivalent amount of $0.26 per $1000 AV currently paid totals about $1.8 million per year, the amount of the current library operating budget. While nothing has been decided by the Administration or Council, Renton would still be responsible for replacing two facilities/library branches upon annexation to KCLS, and would need to find funds to do so. The City could use/continue the current investment we make in libraries by issuing bonds to build those two facilities and some part (we estimate perhaps $0.13) of the $0.26 per $1000 could be used to pay for debt service on those bonds for facilities over time. So it’s likely that any savings would be something less than $0.26 per $1000 if that approach was used. The City would also have the option of “giving back” all or part of the current investment to taxpayers in the form of a lower property tax levy in some future year, or an option to use those general-purpose taxes to pay for other priority city services (by either restoring services cut in 2009 or funding other services).

Please also note that costs to improve library services fall into several categories that total more than $0.26 per 1000 whether annexation to KCLS is approved or not. Remaining independent or annexing could cost residents in total from $0.59 to $0.70 per $1000. Those costs include current operations, master plan investments in programs and staffing, capital (buildings), and newly annexed areas still pay for the bonds for KCLS’ 2004 levy. So the $0.26 per $1000 is just one part of the tax burden/investments that Renton residents would need to make to modernize library services whether independent or part of KCLS.

This information request also came to us from another resident, copied here. I am available to provide any other clarifications, information or answer any further questions you have. Please just call or email for anything more you need. Thanks for your interest!”

I don’t think any further discussion is necessary at this point –

 VOTE NO ON PROP 1