Carla Lalley, San Clemente
The San Clemente City Council is not happy about the higher cost for the library expansion project and is frustrated with the almost three years of delay. The city wants to blame Orange County for holding up the project but there is sufficient blame to go around.
Yes, the county wasted many months with a project manager who did nothing to move this project forward. However, if this project had been ready to start within six months of the senior center vacating the space in 2011, we wouldn’t be paying the additional $326,000 and the project would have been completed by now.
Having participated in the expansion meetings, I have seen the contentious nature of our city representatives toward the county representatives and this has proven most unproductive.
If the City Council thinks that having a city-owned library is the answer, I hope they look at what that really means to the people that frequent the library. As a county library, the patrons can now request a book from any branch and have it delivered to this library for a very nominal fee of 25 cents. If our library becomes city owned this will no longer be the case. We will only be able to check out materials that this library owns.
Maybe the answer to benefit our library, based on the city’s monetary contribution to the county system, is to negotiate more services for our branch rather than pull out of the county library system. We are fortunate to live in a community that has the funds to support a great library but not every community does. If you believe in the importance of books and having them available to everyone, shouldn’t we be willing to contribute to those communities as well?