http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2008/10/07/vote-yes-on-measure-n


Town Square

Vote Yes on Measure N

Original post made by PTA member on Oct 7, 2008

Our library is literally crumbing. I don't think anyone can argue against that fact.

I have been watching these forums and regret that there is so much distortion and mean-spiritedness about the library bond from just a few people.

Here is a great piece from the Library Foundation that nicely lays out the facts.

Web Link

Comments

Posted by Mitchell Park patron, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Mitchell Park Library and Community Center is disgraceful. It hasn't been repaired on almost 50 years! We tried to get a bond passed in 2002 and it failed by just a few points. We really need to pass this bond in order to have a modern library.


Posted by Worried Parent, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm

It is clear that we can not afford this luxury at this time. If this Measure passes, I will have no choice but to reduce my contribution to PIE by the exact amount I must pay for this ill-advised Library/Community Center/Internet Cafe boondoggle.


Posted by 25 Churchill gal, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm

PIE contributions will be greatly augmented by the new library programming that this bond makes possible. Most people aren't aware of the deep cooperation that exists between the library and our school system. Everyone here at 25 Churchill is in favor of the bond, and so are many PTA's, with more coming on board as we speak.


Posted by What?, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Just plain a waste of money, that's what this Library proposal is. Money for a building, but nothing else? Kind of like building a gym, but saying there is no money for sports equipment or coaches. Oh wait, they did put in a lot of money for a cafe. The 'cafe/kitchen' at Mayfield Community Fields has gone unused for 2+ years!

I think this whole thing is just Alison's Field of Dreams. I have lots of better uses for the money she wants.....


Posted by PTA member, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:59 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Gal, I'm glad to hear you say that PIE will be augmented by library programming, because it will definitely be decremented by tax payer contributions should the bond pass. Hear this - The well is dry. Its not a realistic time to be asking for more more more more more. I'm done.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:09 pm

This expense is in our control. The increase in taxes for the "big bailout", as well as additional increases to support the great state of CA are not -

Vote NO


Posted by Another PTA Parent, a resident of Walter Hays School
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm

The local economy will suffer tremendously if Measure N is not passed. If this project, which dozens of local contractors are currently depending on for their livelihoods for 2009 and 2010 income, is not passed, hundreds if not thousands of jobs will be lost to the community forever! [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:13 pm

General obligation bonds by law can only be for buildings.

Private donations are being sought for books/furniture.

The building designs include a lot of green measures to minimize incremental utility costs.

The space within the Mitchell Park Library is being configured to minimize the number of staff required (no L-shapes etc).

The librarians have spent the last couple of years training us to check out our own books so that usage can ramp up without a commensurate increase in staffing.

I've actually been very impressed by the thought that went into the plans to enhance our library system.


Posted by YES on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:14 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I'm sorry but I am very separate and distinct from the other Nay sayers! This is not the time to take on additional obligations. Oh and how far along are they with "private contributions" for books? So we'll have great buildings with nothing in them?


Posted by ex-librarian, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:21 pm

FoPAL and The Palo Alto Library Foundation have made considerable commitments for the collection. Of course, the collection we have now will be far better utilized once we have the space to properly display most of it. As it is, we can't effectively use our entire collection because of limited space at Main and Mitchell.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Crazy, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

These posts are getting crazier and crazier.

We pay 2x what other towns pay to run our libraries today. Those numbers will go up, not down, if N passes.

We have 5 branches; only 1 other town on the Peninsula has 4 (RWC); the others have 1 or 2. We are over-branched.

The bond will hit homeowners, many for $400 or $500/year, at the worst possible time.

Tax revenue in PA is going to plummet, as sales taxes dry up (look at car sales) and property values decline.

All this points at getting our fiscal house in order. Step one is to Vote No on N; Step two is to rationalize our city operations and budget. But we must draw the line - the crisis is upon us.


Posted by elizabeth, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:47 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

For people who want facts, you can go to the city's website and feast Web Link


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:49 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by paly parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:08 pm

"PIE contributions will be greatly augmented by the new library programming that this bond makes possible." People have a finite amount of $$, even less in the current environment. I can see absolutely no way that the majority of PiE contributors will donate more then they currently do because of a library bond. Is there some program the library is going to run that will generate donations for PiE?

"Most people aren't aware of the deep cooperation that exists between the library and our school system. " There is good cooperation between the children's library and our schools and a few programs at the Middle school level. If there was "deep cooperation" we'd be using our school libraries much more then we do.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Editor,

Why are you removing the comments on the Cafe? It is part of this "no frills" bond. Why are you trying to hide the fact that they are asking for millions so they can get a hot coffee when they visit the library?


Posted by Thank you, editor, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:26 pm

The Editor removed the comments about the cafe because they were false, and misleading.


Posted by Yes on N, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:30 pm

So much disinformation in so little space:

* Assessed home values in PA are such that the average homeowner will pay less than $100 per year, and that's tax deductible unless they're at the AMT limit. I paid close to $2M for my home, yes it sucks, but I see the benefit for the community and am willing to take the hit. I think the overall increase in property value in the long term will make up for this. Libraries are a *very* important part of the neighborhood.

* Our "branch system" has two *READING ROOMS* -- College Terrace and Downtown -- which don't even have proper librarians. They are not libraries as such. Furthermore, this point has been debated to death. Palo Altans want reading rooms/libraries near them in some form or another.

* The library friends are working very hard at getting donations for all the other things that go into getting great libraries. But construction bonds *must* be based on assessed value by law. If you have friends at Google/Apple/VMWare, ask them to donate.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm

It's right there in the plans. I know you probably don't want people to know about. No supporter is mentioning it on these forums. Trying to slip it in with the rest of the unecessary add-ons in this bond.

It's complete waste of money and is not an essential part of any library and gives a lie to the claim that this is a no-frills bond.




Posted by shame on bur srlsy, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Looks like "bur stlsy" is angry about the fact that the library has an outside patio. It's a real shame that he continues these lies.

Vote YES on N,


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Shame on bur srlsy, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Embarrassed about our library, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I wish the sniping would stop, because this is a very important issue. If we lose our libraries, we lose a huge asset. Look at Redwood City; they have three library branches and a Main library. I don't hear Redwood City folks complaining. They LOVE their library. Palo Alto's libraries are in such shameful condition. They don't even have the room to expand for more books and media. I'm voting yes.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Exactly. A home expresso machine is all you need. Instead you build a complete cafe into your library plans and call it "no frills".

You're finally getting the picture.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Hey Editor!

If you're going to edit comments here about the "cafe" as being untrue, why do you let that guy claim over and over that a failure to approve N will inevitably lead to the closure of the library system.

That's clearly a false and highly inflammatory claim.

You also let stand elsewhere multiple totally baseless smears against Obama, including the old "he's a Muslim and was sworn in to the Senate on a Koran" one without editing.

Once you wade in and try to censor posts, you take a huge responsibility to be scrupulously fair and even-handed. And I think you're failing. Badly.




Posted by Voting YES on N, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by success, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:16 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Editor why, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I am curious too why those posts were erased. There are wild, Karl-Rove style, misinformation claims made on this board almost every day. That posts that were cut seemed quite serious, though like most of the claims here, hard to judge their accuracy.

Editor, can you explain why you deleted those posts?


Posted by paly parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Please name one PiE program which will not be necessary if Measure N passes (PiE pays for staff, not stuff)

Please name one teen program sponsored by the library


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:55 pm

After yesterdays's drop the Dow Down plummets another 5.11% and Nasdaq down another 5.80%





Posted by Jenny, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:26 pm

The coffee shop proposed at the Mitchell library is a huge waste of money. There are 4 coffee shops in Midtown, 1 at the Charleston Shopping Center, and a new one being built at the Campus for Jewish Life. That's six coffee shops within walking distance of Mitchell Park Library, all paying retail taxes to our City.

Now along comes a City sponsored coffee shop at the Mitchell Park Library to compete with the tax paying commercial coffee shops. Is anyone at City Hall thinking?

Vote "No" on N.




Posted by Right on, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm

They are thinking hard every day about how to spend our money.


Posted by Voting YES on N, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:39 pm

There is no "coffee shop" planned. It's nothing more than an alcove that's part of the exterior space of the library; that space would be there anyway. IF a vendor wants to come in an operate a small coffee shop in that space, they will be paying rent, and the library will make a profit. If not, maybe a non-profit will take it over and do something else with it.

VOte YES on Measure N and keep our libraries open!


Posted by Not crumbling, not shabby, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:50 pm

I do not agree that the libraries are crumbling. That is overkill rhetoric by the people who discard anything that needs repair. I would agree that there has been a policy of neglecting maintenance and upgrading so they could moan "shabby" "embarrassing" and "crumbling."
The neglect could not happen without intention. Any homeowner recognizes what needs repair, these folks purposely let things slide.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm

"There is no "coffee shop" planned."

That is a complete LIE. You even admit to it in the next sentence. A cafe serving both food and drink for users of the facility is part of the plans - look at them. You'll say anything to get people to vote for this bond!



Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:08 pm

"A cafe serving both food and drink for users of the facility is part of the plans - look at them"

There is a small space adjacent to an outside alcove that is planned for "food service'. The alcove would exist anyway - with or without the food service area. IF, and only IF a vendor can be found - who will *pay rent* for that space, will there be anything other than a few vending machines there. SO, just who is lying about this? Pot, meet kettle.

You and a few others here are inventing numbers to deceive people into voting against their self interest, their schools, our seniors, our students, or kids, our working professionals - 880,000 PEOPLE who use our libraries every year, and increasing.

It's a darned shame that Palo Alto has to listen to your distortions, because the vast majority of them want what this bond is asking for.

You are LYING about the library because you want to get as many "no" votes as possible because you know that it only takes 33.33% +1 vote to defeat what the MAJORITY want.

Please vote YES on N, and keep our libraries open.


Posted by Eric, a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Any kind of liquids whether it's coffee or sodas in a library that can be spilled over books and magazines is a stupid idea. Vote No on N.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 7, 2008 at 10:57 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Not in favor of N, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 1:12 am

"You and a few others here are inventing numbers to deceive people into voting against their self interest," At this particular time our self interest is our pocket book. These are tough economic times, splurging $76 M. on buildings to house books is a huge waste of taxpayers money.


Posted by Mitchell Park patron, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 1:46 am

THese are tough economic times, and we'd better pass Measure N because we all know we need libraries to go to when we can't afford to buy bookd and DVDs, and do all the other stuff that libraries offer.


Posted by book and food lover, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 8, 2008 at 2:53 am

Just finished a late might siore at a friends house - dinner for 16! We talked about the library and EVERYONE there is voting for it! Most of the dinner guests are newer PA residents. They all seemed shocked that our libraries are in such bad shape. Two of them are going to do leafleting!! They get it!

Yeah!!!!

Yes on N to keep our libraries open!


Posted by No Doubt, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:11 am

No doubt the "rich-ies" will vote for the bond - why not, another $500 a year is nothing to them, even in the meltdown.

For the rest of us, we can't figure why we can't do even afford to do even minor repairs on our buildings without a massive additional tax. While at the same time we have more branches than anyone and pay 2x per capita what any other town pays.

The fiscal irresponsibility has to end. We see the results in the national financial meltdown. The wine and cheese crowd can leaflet if they like. The rest of us need to be responsible. Vote against measure N.


Posted by not now, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 8:11 am

"THese are tough economic times, and we'd better pass Measure N because we all know we need libraries to go to when we can't afford to buy bookd and DVDs, and do all the other stuff that libraries offer."

Peoples houses are being repossessed because people can't afford their mortgages, getting DVDs from libraries isn't going to compensate.
Putting additional debt on these people is unacceptable at this time.
Please be considerate, this is not the time for this bond in any form.


Posted by paly parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 8, 2008 at 8:28 am

Passing Measure N at this time would show the same lack of fiscal responsibility that got us into the mortgage crisis - people bought the home they wanted, not the one they could afford.


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:29 am

From recent highs the Dow is now down 35.85% Nasdaq down 38.54% S&P down 37.76%
In addition:
- $1 trillion lost from retirement savings
- house prices falling
- houses in Palo Alto being repossessed
- lay offs looming

As Clint Eastwood would say: "Go ahead, Punk, make my day!"


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:53 am

Editor,

There you go again. The pro-bond folks make outrageous claims about the whole library system closing if the bond fails and you let it pass. Those against the bond pointing out only what is described in official literature as a "no frills" bond actually contains a full service cafe at significant additional cost and you remove it.

What gives?


Posted by Be Real, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:23 am

This issue of needing to rebuild the aging library is going to come back again and again... It's not gonna go away. If this measure fails this year, it's going to come back at some point with a higher bill. When that measure finally gets passed, you'll be wondering why we didn't agree to it when it was cheaper to do so. This is basically deferred maintenance. You can't defer it forever.

I know these economic times are not conducive to saying Yes but bad times will pass and in the long run, inflation always wins.


Posted by not now, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:36 am

Be Real, when you've had to watch your neighbor have their home repossessed you may understand the need for more consideration. It is a very disturbing event to witness.
Yes the bond will come back. We need to fix our libraries. Putting additional requests for money on people already under mortgage stress in this environment is not a good idea.
These are extreme times. Times will change, better times will come, this bond is for those times.

Just not now.



Posted by Not Real, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:38 am

Be Real, that's not a sensible argument - it implies the right time to do every project is now, since it will just cost more later. Most people believe when you have less, spend less. Collectively, we all now have a LOT less. We need to live within our means.

Unless we address the operating cost issues - too many branches, 2x the per capital cost of other towns - it does not make sense to invest in capital, especially with branches that may close or be restructured. There are also doubts about whether the building and funding plans are really cost-effective.

Palo Alto "spends it like we gots it" - unfortunately, we all have a lot less now. Now is not the time to spend more.


Posted by YES! on Measure N, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:14 pm

"when you've had to watch your neighbor have their home repossessed you may understand the need for more consideration."

Another bogus argument! How many foreclosures have happened here? Practically none, ifi any.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

In hard times, libraries are even MORE important. They enable seniors, children, students, etc. etc. to access educational materials; they enable working professionals and unemployed persons free access to otherwise costly databases, and so on.

There are HUNDREDS of programs for the above groups that would be eventually lost if Measure N fails. Is that what we want for our community?

PLease vote Yes on Measure N. Think about your kids, seniors, student, the close connections with PAUSD, children's programming, senior mentoring programs. We want to KEEP these things in Palo Alto.

Vote YES on N, and keep our libraries open.


Posted by marie antoinette, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

"Another bogus argument! How many foreclosures have happened here? Practically none, ifi any."

Forclosures in Palo Alto -
Web Link


Really, Vote YES on N, let them eat DVDs?



Posted by jardins, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:36 pm

In my view, this is NOT the time to be asking residents to pay more taxes for a fancy project whose estimated cost doesn't even include books--the vital ingredient of libraries!!

I am sick of the premium that Palo Alto's "leaders"--past and present--put on glitz: the PAPD has to have "a Cadillac" of a new police station (to quote LaDoris Cordell); the design of Mitchell library and community center have to befit the image of Palo Alto as a world-class city; the bikes for public rental have to be from Paris, and the self-cleaning public toilets also have to be French; complete with a ludicrous proposal for a 4.5 mile tunnel, the bus-bike-train station has to become an "intermodal transportation hub," perhaps even 50' underground so that the land above can be (speculatively, of course) developed into yet more restaurants and hotels that fewer and fewer people, let alone ordinary Palo Alto residents, can afford.

Let's get real, AND fiscally responsible: many of us have children to put through college, and parents to help support financially, now that their retirement savings have been melted down in the current economic fiasco. Instead of fancy library buildings with coffee bars, simply set up some portables next to the Mitchell Library building, to accommodate books and after-school students; axe the ugly proposed addition to the Main Library. What matters is increased space and a better supply of books!! Yes, we can do this--but NOT with Measure N, that puts us into more debt, collectively and individually.


Posted by not now, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Who is this person that makes light of other people's misery. Now is the worst I've seen it. The only other time I've known anyone to lose their house was in 1991 when a friend, a single guy, sent his keys to the bank. Recently three people I've known, families with children, have lost their homes, one was a neighbor.

Please do not do this again.




Posted by A Mom voting No, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:40 pm

"HUNDREDS of programs" Could you please name fifty? Also, those against N are in the most part NOT AGAINST LIBRARIES - just this proposal. There is no need for a branch system when PA can not afford a branch system. How do you suggest we continue to address our schools that are falling apart. I doubt the funds recently passed will be enough.

There is a limit to the amount of money people have...and this amount has just gone down!



Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Please stop saying that library services are going to be free. If I have to increase my property taxes by $400, I will be paying for these services, so they will not be free.

What we have at present is included in the property taxes we pay, so once again they are not free.

Services are never free, they are always budgeted in somewhere, just like trash removal, street lighting and police. We pay for our services.

There is very little in reality that is free.


Posted by A Mom voting No, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Resident - please note, your property taxes will be going up to pay for the buildings, not the books or theses services. N may very well pass and then we can look for the funds for books. I seem to recall a very famous, expensive library being built years and years ago in Chicago (8+ stories) and guess what...no money for books!


Posted by JSD, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:47 pm

If N fails (and I of course have no way of knowing if it will), I hope its supporters, City Council, and the Library commission won't just scapegoat the financial crisis. It would be a shame to waste the opportunity to find out specifically _why_ people didn't vote for N and what they would vote for. I think the one almost-universally accepted fact in Palo Alto is that our libraries need improvement. We just can't all agree that N is the right package.

(Yes, I know that CAPS-AND-HYPERBOLE-LOVER will say this is faux concern, and that I'm just one of the 2-3 anti-N posters masquerading as dozens... I guess I'm hoping other readers on both sides of the issue are discerning readers.)


Posted by paly parent, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 8, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Programs -What are the hundreds of programs sponsored by the libraries? Are you counting each weekly story time as an individual program? How many programs are there for middle school, high school, seniors and regular age people? How do the programs benefit from this bond? Although I have found the people of PA to be very generous, this is a totally different economic climate then when the fundraising for books and tables went on for the children's library. There are many people who would have donated to both PiE and the library "book drive" that will not be able to afford it.

Library vs PiE - I keep seeing posts about how passing this bond will benefit PiE, but not a single fact of how that benefit might happen.

Foreclosures -thanks for the info, but since EPA and PA share a zipcode, I could only find a 3 that were actually Palo Alto addresses.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Be Real, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Any person who's having difficulty paying his Palo Alto mortgage should consider moving to a cheaper location. I will be in this boat as well if this economy keeps tanking and I lose my job. When that time comes, I'll probably put my house for sale and move to Austin or something. I fully recognize that this city is an expensive place to live in and nobody's forcing me to live here. Palo Alto real estate is relatively easy to sell. If a person allows his house to reach foreclosure then he's not had adequate planning.

I understand the need to live within one's means but I also understand good business sense. I don't think that an extra $300 a year for Palo Altans is going to break the bank. If we are not going to ever rebuild our libraries, then please let's not ever. Let's not do it in my lifetime. That way I don't have to fork out more expensive dollars later on. How many of you wishes you had bought into Palo Alto in 1994 instead of 2004?

Regarding the issue of having inefficient libraries, personally I believe we should completely shut down all branch libraries and just have one good library. However, I am fully cognizant of the fact that everybody is out for their own interests and a lot of times, the decisions that are made are not necessarily the best but the most practical given everybody's personal agenda.


Posted by paly parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Yes, PA real estate is still pretty easy to sell - but not for those people whose mortgage is more then the value of their home. Even in PA there are people who fall into that category. Even in PA there are people who can't afford 300 more a year.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:10 pm

The main issue for me is that first it is more than $300 a year; then it is the $650 per child per year for PIE; then the $250 per child for PTA (different schools because of availability). Now, consider the financial condition of the State of CA...oh and don't forget the cost of the bailout. All of this on top of the losses people are experiencing in the market are a bit much. Those of you who are not worried really should be. There will be people who won't be able to continue to contribute to PIE and as I see it we will be asked for more each year as the funds for our school district continue diminish.


Posted by Anonymous too, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Property tax revenues will, at best, stagnate and most likely fall. The options funding the buy-in to Palo Alto are now under water.





Posted by disgusted, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:00 pm

I just followed the link from the OP. "Better Libraries for Palo Alto" is pushing propaganda at children. If any Palo Alto official was involved in this they need to be fired now.




Posted by agree with YES on N, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:09 pm

"Forclosures in Palo Alto"

You might look into that link a little deeper, and realize that a full 98% of those properties are INVESTMENT-GRADE condos that were bought on LEVERAGED credit by NON-RESIDENTS!

VERY FEW Palo Altans who own homes have gone into foreclosure. Find me ONE property on that list over $700K.

jardinis says: the library is ""a fancy project whose estimated cost doesn't even include books--the vital ingredient of libraries.

It's a fact that the library has no room to expand the collection; it's another fact that the library has commitments from FoPAl and the PA Library Foundation to build the collection. So,, we're getting a an expanded collection that will FINALLY make us current with surrounding libraries.

Yes, times are hard, but it's *exactly* in hard times that libraries make a difference for so many.

Last, having an orange yard sign tells one's neighbors that it's more important to consider the BENEFITS of libraries that PAY BACK MORE THAN TAXPAYERS SPEND. It's important to enable seniors, children, students, etc. etc.l to access educational materials; to enable working professionals and unemployed person's free access to otherwise costly databases, and so on.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by A Mom voting No, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Again - could you please name fifty of the the "HUNDREDS" of programs that we are a risk of loosing. I've asked this before...with not even one example being provided.


Posted by Dude, you arebad, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by fact checker, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm

"YES", the list only shows what is owed to the mortgagee on the properties, not the price paid for the properties. It looks like a pay site so I wouldn't take it as given that it covers all properties.
Most people sell before getting repossessed or ending up on a list like this.






Posted by jim, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:32 pm

jim is a registered user.

Did you know?

1. Palo Alto spends twice as much as other local libraries in a survey by the city auditor.

Palo Alto library budget at $97.01 per capita already far exceeds those of our neighboring cities. The closest is Menlo Park at $61.68 with Sunnyvale only needing to spend $49.97 per capita to offer a superior service.

2. Palo Alto libraries require nearly twice as many staff per 1000 card holders as other local libraries in a survey by the city auditor.

Palo Alto library system needs 0.95 full time employees (FTE) per 1000 card holders. The maximum required by our neighboring cities is 0.59 by Santa Clara with the lowest being Mountain View at 0.55. All neighboring cities require less than 0.60 FTEs per 1000 card holders. Since the audit, the number of Palo Alto libraries employees has increased from 104 to 109.

3. Your cost will be far higher than the $139 per household per year that Beter Libraries for Palo Alto site quotes.

The better libraries for Palo Alto site continues to say that $139 per homeowner as a reasonable average annual cost estimate. This is *not* a parcel tax and the actual cost of the bond is $28.74 per $100,000 of assessed value. There may be a lot of people who will be paying only $20 a year but there will be also be an awful lot of people paying over $400 a year to make up for that.

4. Pro-bond council members wanted to use to city's contingency fund to futher increase the library budget.

Even though Palo Alto requires far more employees and has a far higher budget than those of other local libraries, pro-bond Councilman Greg Schmid wanted to dip into the council's $175,000 contingency fund for general support for libraries. He had to be reminded that the contingency fund is usually needed for unexpected projects or needs that come up during the year.

5. The 2008 bond plan is the result of a special interest group pushing its own objectives.

When the last branch library closed, the Friends of Palo Alto libraries (FOPAL) threatened, in an open letter to councli, to reduce funding to offset any saving made by the closure. This is at odds with the most recent survey showing 58% of Palo Altans agreed that focusing our resources on one or two full-service libraries instead of spending money to upgrade 5 different libraries was a convincing argument. FOPAL failed in its attempt to force the branch to remain open. In a recent PA Weekly article Senior Staff Writer Dan Kazac stated, incorrectly, that Palo Alto had a decades old 5-branch library policy completely forgetting that Palo Alto had only recently closed a branch without any issues.

6. If the bond passes the library budget and annual costs will only further increase.

Diane Jennings stated she would examine staffing but said it would be challenging to staff a larger facility for additional hours with the same number of people.


Posted by Did you know?, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:20 pm

"Did you know?"
1. That Palo Alto library staff is 2.5 times more efficient than other library staff on the Peninsula; and that they manage to keep our libraries open for a total number of 234 hours per week (for all libraries), compared to less than 70 hours per week for most of our neighboring libraries?

2. Palo Alto libraries require nearly twice as many staff per 1000 card holders as oth

3. Your cost stands a good chance to be less than the $139 per household per year that Beter Libraries for Palo Alto site quotes.

4. The 2008 bond plan is the result four years of diligence and several community polls that show a decided preference to repair our library and keep our branch system. 62% of our community already support this bond. Please join us.

5. If the bond passes the library will finally be able to install labor-saving technologies that will keep our costs down.

6. Diane Jennings has made several adjustments of library staff recommended by the city auditor, to make our library run even more efficiently.

7. That if Measure N fails, we stand an excellent chance of losing our libraries?

8. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by way to go, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:27 pm

"6. Diane Jennings has made several adjustments of library staff recommended by the city auditor, to make our library run even more efficiently."

Yes, she's increased staffing from 104 to 109!


Posted by YeS! on Measure N, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:31 pm

" she's increased staffing from 104 to 109!"

Another distortion.

In fact, these are part-time staff that keep Palo Alto from having to pay benefits (saves tax dollars), and helps spread staff more efficiently throughout the branches.

Vote YES on N for our kids, students, seniors, working proferssionals, teachers, and so many others!


Posted by A Mom voting No, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Okay...maybe fifty examples of the HUNDREDS of programs provided by our libraries were too many to ask for - how about twenty?

Thanks


Posted by mom voting yes, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:45 pm

You want library programs? Go to the Library website! There are DAILY programs at Children', homework help, readings for kids and parents, and on and on.
Just this week (multiple by 52)
Celebrate Teen Read Week
Books with Bite @ Your Library
Game Day is Back!
Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly and so much more- Oct. 10
Day of the Dead Celebration with Beth Nord
Enjoy Stories, Traditional Bread, and Mexican Hot Chocolate! - Oct. 15
Dear Mr. President Kids' Writing Contest
Open for Kids in Grades K-5 - Start writing today!

Vote for Measure N to keep our libraries open and providing for oour kids, students, and schools!


Posted by A Mom voting No, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Be fair - assuming these "events" take place every week, or even once a month - you have only listed 8 programs.


Posted by mom voting yes, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm

THere are new multiple themes, just at Children's every week. There are new Childrens and teen themes every month. There are new cultural themes and focus on the arts, culture and science at Main every week. That's just for starters. There ARE hundreds of programs made available by our libraries. If you made it your business to avail yourself of this information, you might change your mind on Measure N. I find it odd that any "mom" would take a position that threatens even one of these programs.

Vote YES on N


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson warned today that some banks will still fail despite the $700bn government rescue package to shore up the financial system.



Posted by did you know?, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 7:43 pm

"Did you know?"
1. That Palo Alto library staff is 2.5 times more efficient than other library staff on the Peninsula; and that they manage to keep our libraries open for a total number of 234 hours per week (for all libraries), compared to less than 70 hours per week for most of our neighboring libraries?

2. Palo Alto libraries require nearly twice as many staff per 1000 card holders as oth

3. Your cost stands a good chance to be less than the $139 per household per year that Beter Libraries for Palo Alto site quotes.

4. The 2008 bond plan is the result four years of diligence and several community polls that show a decided preference to repair our library and keep our branch system. 62% of our community already support this bond. Please join us.

5. If the bond passes the library will finally be able to install labor-saving technologies that will keep our costs down.

6. Diane Jennings has made several adjustments of library staff recommended by the city auditor, to make our library run even more efficiently.

7. That if Measure N fails, we stand an excellent chance of losing our libraries?

8. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 7:52 pm

mom voting yes,

children's library is not a target of this bond. Passing or not passing this measure should not have an impact on the children's library.


Posted by Cowper Street resident voting NO, a resident of El Carmelo School
on Oct 8, 2008 at 8:36 pm

I just got my YES on N flyer. The flyer compares Palo Alto's aging libraries to the shiny new libraries of its neighbors.

A little bit of googling shows our project to be the most expensive library project on the Peninsula. Looking up the stated costs for the recent library openings shows:

City Cost ($M) Sq ft Pop Cost/sq ft Cost/pers
---- -------- ----- --- ---------- ---------
San Mateo $65 90k 92k $722 $707
Cupertino $24 54k 54k $450 $450
Mountain View $2 ? 71k $21
San Jose $178 475k 974k $374 $182
Morgan Hill $18 28k 38k $625 $461
Palo Alto (prop) $76 67k 63k $1,134 $1,206

For all you N supporters out there, I know, these projects are apples and oranges, the numbers aren't accurate, etc.

Still, why are we spending 2-3 times as much as our good neighbors, who must be credited with as much civic pride as we Palo Altans? Surely we Palo Altans are clever enough to rehabilitate our libraries without gold-plating them?


Posted by Cowper Street resident voting NO, a resident of El Carmelo School
on Oct 8, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Sorry, the table did not turn out well. Here's a link for it:

Web Link


Posted by Maria, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 8:46 pm

You don't have libraries, your kids and you miss out on the joy of reading. There are countless new idea, new worlds to explore in books. The history of countries, of people, of individuals, of inventions, explorations - adventure, love stories - philosophies - art - music - Libraries are the depository of knowledge of the past and the window into the future. They are priceless.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:03 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Ha ha, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm

If everyone is voting for it, why waste your time here? Besides, you are one to accuse people of unethical distortions!

From the polling, they were right on the edge of 66% back in June. With the economic crisis, I imagine bonds will have a hard time all over.


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:33 pm

>> "5. If the bond passes the library will finally be able to install labor-saving technologies that will keep our costs down."

First of all, there is no technology plan for the libraries. If/when technology is implemented, where will the money come from to pay it? From the general fund? The contingency fund, as Councilman Greg Schmid recommended? From new taxes?

From Web Link
"… Jennings said, the library is waiting for the results of the rest of its technology study before asking the Library Advisory Commission to issue a recommendation on RFID. If it deems RFID a top priority, the libraries will then ask the city to budget money for the project."

>> "7. That if Measure N fails, we stand an excellent chance of losing our libraries?"

Based on what? This is just a scare tactic. Does anyone believe the city is going to fold up the libraries if the bond doesn't pass?


Posted by keep our libraries open, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Big Lie, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm

The Big Lie being repeated endlessly in these forums is that the libraries are in danger of closing if Measure N fails.
This is more than a scare tactic, it is a BIG LIE.
I do not understand why the bond supporters are allowing this lie to be repeated, when we all know who is doing it.
It reflects very badly on the organizers of this bond that they allow such false information to be repeated and they have not made any statement correcting it.


Posted by libraries matter, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:13 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Big Lie, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by JSD, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Libraries Matter,

To lump all those who are not in favor of Measure N in with a few historically anti-any-bond advocates, while easy and somewhat comforting, misses a key issue. Many who are not voting in favor of N have supported the school bond measures and even the previous library measure, and many of us will support a future measure (should N fail) that addresses some or all of our concerns (or does a more thorough job of convincing us that this is what's best for Palo Alto).

Furthermore, many of us "look" like Measure N supporters. As one example: while not a prominent Palo Altan (thankfully I have zero aspirations in this department), I am an active community member, PTA board member, classroom and school volunteer, board member of small local non-profit, parent of current PAUSD students, active Palo Alto library patron, and 17-year Palo Alto resident.

If N passes, you'll be looking to us to help fund the increased collections, outfitting, and technology upgrades that can't be covered by the city budget. If N fails, we'll be the key voter segment you'll need on board to get the next (and, I think we all hope, final and successful) attempt at library improvements passed.

It doesn't serve your cause to paint with such broad strokes, or to characterize us as unthinking voters incapable (or unwilling, take your pick) to research an issue for ourselves and reach a different conclusion than yours.


Posted by libraries are good, pass Measure N, a resident of Southgate
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

"If N passes, you'll be looking to us to help fund the increased collections, outfitting, and technology upgrades that can't be covered by the city budget."

If N passes, there are already strong commitments from FoPAL and the Library Foundation to fill the gaps. You are welcome to participate.

I've been here a few times and am NOT painting all Measure N opponents with the same broad brush, nor is anyone else whose posts I've read. I think we all know who I'm talking about - i.e. those who have made a virtual hobby of castigating public officials, and claiming that ANY bond is too expensive.

These individuals have a history of distorting facts, and placing those distortions on the doorsteps of voters, in order to engineer a minority victory. Then, they're on to their next cause. The press in Palo Alto, sadly, instead of giving responsible contrary voices a public platform, has somehow latched on to these fringe individuals - probably because their outlandish claims make headlines - and headlines sell newspapers.

This is your first appearance in this forum; it's a given that some individuals will oppose the library bond for their own good reasons and rationales.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 8:06 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 8:56 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Midtown Mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2008 at 9:38 am

The proponents on Measure N have sent out expensive flyers comparing our library to those of our neighboring cities; and touting the children's programming for pirate-themed parties. This does not convince me that my household's share of the bond (I'm thinking about $5000 plus finance cost over the life of the bond) will be well-spent.

If the fine people in city hall would please focus on reality, and put forward a proposition to rehabilitate and expand existing space, perhaps even look for private donations and government grants (the way our neighboring cities have done), keeping the cost closer to $25M, then I will happily vote yes.


Posted by JSD, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 9, 2008 at 10:28 am

Actually, Libraries Matter, I've posted several times on the various library threads and even started one, all with the same nom de keyboard. You seem rather quick to brush off opposing opinions as either "new to the discussion" or firmly entrenched anti-any-bondites

It also seems to me that the local media is mostly endorsing N. Don't bite the hand. . .


Posted by keep our libraries open, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 9, 2008 at 10:30 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by did you know?, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

Did you know?

1) Palo Alto ranks dead last out of the 10 local libraries rated in a survey by the city auditor. The facilities are cramped and dilapidated with no room to expand the collection. They lack space for teen homework; toddler storytime; and quiet adult reading space. There are too few internet connections and meeting rooms.

2) In spite of the fact that they are cramped and outdated, Palo Alto libraries are well-used. Our circulation is up 45% in the last 7 years. There are 2,300 visitors EVERY DAY to the libraries.

3) The 2008 bond plan is a good investment and the result of careful study and community consensus.

4) There are no frills, but once complete, it will modernize all branches for the next generation. It will rebuild Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, renovate and expand the Main Library and remodel, refurbish and upgrade the Downtown Library.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 11:27 am

"4) There are no frills"

Yes, that's right, a Cafe is a library is not a "frill" but an essential part of the infrastructure.


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 9, 2008 at 11:52 am

"After warning earlier this week that the world's financial firms could end up shouldering $1 trillion (£500bn) worth of losses from the credit crunch, the IMF said it expects the US to achieve GDP growth of just 0.5% this year, and 0.6% in 2009, with the housing crash getting even worse."



Posted by Penny Ellson, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 11:55 am

Let me start by saying that I support Measure N.

Second, please recognize that there are many individuals contributing to these threads. Not all of them are associated with the campaign. Please do not attribute distortions that you may read here in support of Measure N with the campaign.

In fact, ANYTHING you read on PA Online should be viewed as unsubstantiated gossip. There are some facts here (presented by both sides). There is far more distortion and misinformation (presented by proponents of both sides). Personally, I don't find this forum to be a very useful source of information. I'm visiting today because a friend pointed me to a couple of threads that she thought might interest me.

If you are seriously interested in making an informed decision, I hope you will visit the city web site yourself and look at primary sources of information in the staff reports and City Council meeting minutes related to this decision. I sat through many of those meetings and read most of those reports. My conclusion is that, while the current proposal is not perfect for everyone (What proposal ever is?), it is the best proposal to serve the current and future needs of our growing community...AND, importantly, it is the only proposal that has a prayer of getting the required super majority for funding approval.

To the people who keep complaining that the proposal doesn't include books, I would like to remind you again that the law does not permit the bond meaure to include books and furniture. That cost HAS to be taken care of separately. Council was not being irresponsible on this point. This simply was not a choice. I'd also like to point out that the PA current collection is not fully displayed due to lack of space.

This is a good plan. It has been extremely well-vetted. I am voting YES on Measure N.

Civility seems to be unraveling here. I hope we can find a way to be more respectful in the way we express our differences of opinion. We are a community. While I may not agree with all of my neighbors on every issue, I want to be considerate of them and to enjoy a good, mutually respectful democratic discussion. That doesn't seem to be what is happening here. Maybe it would help if we used our names and took ownership of the opinions that we express.

Our family had a conversation one day about ethics and the problems of anonymity on sites like this. My daughter wisely acknowledged, "It really is important how you live your life when no one is looking."

"Out of the mouths of babes..."




Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 9, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Damn, I have to admit I'd love a cafe at the main library, there's no cappucino in easy walking distance around here . . . I could even see it as an income generator for the city for that reason. Though which library gets the perk, anyway?

I admit, I've not read most of the library threads. I don't understand why it's so heated. It just seems to me to be a matter of disagreement not warfare. Of course, I'm sure people feel that way about *my* pet topics.

The libraries do look run down to me; they are all heavily used and it seems backwards to me to shut down the existing ones. (I was always in favor of shutting down Terman.)

I think, as the economy slumps, that maintaining our city services is an advantage. Part of Palo Alto's appeal to homebuyers is that we're a little city that has it all--and that means convenient branch libraries.

So I think it's a good investment. I wish it weren't following on that huge school bond we just passed, I think it would be an easier sell then, but I actually think the library situation is a bit more urgent.

So, yes, from this corner.


Posted by hearsay, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 9, 2008 at 12:16 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by jim, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Penny

The library bond may not be allowed by law to include books and furniture. That isn't the issue for many of us. It is the size of the bond which is the problem. If the bond passes, there will be no increase in the materials without more money being put into the system. So we will still be in a situation whereby there are no improvements in the material even though we have spent all this money. This is what hurts so much. If we were spending this much money (meaning if we were allowed to) and books were increased then many would feel a lot happier. As it is this expensive bond does nothing to improve service, just the facilities. What will happen then? Another bond to buy books? I don't think that will be palatable.


Posted by chris, a resident of University South
on Oct 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Our retirement accounts are plunging. Now is not the time to raise property taxes.


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm

This fall is stunning. When you think it can't go any lower, it does.



Posted by Mandy, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 9, 2008 at 1:35 pm

What's the Weekly's policy for removing posts? I'm sure libel and good taste are concerns, but is it also out of bounds to criticize the Weekly? Some posts that were removed on this string were critical of the Weekly and did not seem to be the least bit libelous or in poor taste. An explanation would be nice.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:10 pm

They don't give an explanation. If a post gets deleted that isn't against the TOS: Web Link re-post it.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]



Posted by Yes on N - the smart thing to do, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:28 pm

There is no "cafe" planned for the library. It's a small edge of an outside alcove that will have snack machines, unless a vendor comes forward to operate it. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:33 pm

"There is no "cafe" planned for the library. "

There is space allocated for a retail outlet serving food and drink taking up library floorspace. This Cafe is listed in the items for the library. Support for this cafe along with costs associated with health and safety add significant funds over not having it.


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm

"As it is this expensive bond does nothing to improve service, just the facilities. What will happen then? Another bond to buy books? "

But is DOES improve service, because you can't install labor-saving (and tax saving) materials handling technology (that all the other municipal libraries have, except us) in these old spaces. We also can't expand the collection, because we don't have any room. We would not need a bond for books, because that's not permitted under the law. Instead, we have solid commitments from the Foundation and FoPAL to bolster the collection.


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:56 pm

" take a look at the plans."

yes, take a look at them, do the video run through. There is no "cafe" in the fixed plans.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

"yes, take a look at them, do the video run through. There is no "cafe" in the fixed plans."

There are bathrooms in the video run through either, so there are no bathrooms planed? Take a look at the actual plans not some graphic.



Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm

look at the plans on the web site - where is the "fixed cafe" with kitchen, drains, stoves, etc. etc. - maybe you dreamed it?


Posted by Midtown Mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Perhaps "facts" is confused because the cafe is part of the "community center" at Mitchell, not the "library"? Many of us consider it as one project, but it is actually split into two buildings.

The plans can be viewed here:
Web Link


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Looking at them now. Cafe's in exactly the same place as last time I looked.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Question - where does FoPAL and PA Library Foundation get its funds for the library collection?


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:40 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:00 pm

"Cafe's in exactly the same place as last time I looked."

Where does it say "cafe"? Just as I said before, there are a few portable food counters and some tables and chairs there - it's all part of a natural alcove that would exist *anyway*. They will be setup if a vendor wants to sell food. Otherwise, it will be snack machines. Can't you read?

here, look again, this time with your reading glasses on; ;) it says "snack bar" - there is no dedicated fixed space to the snack bar.
Web Link


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:01 pm

"where does FoPAL and PA Library Foundation get its funds for the library collection"

selling used books and capital donations


Posted by Resident, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Capital donations from who?


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:20 pm

"Capital donations from who?"

Private donors.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:33 pm

You need to look again. Try the main plans, that will help. This is indoor space allocated for a Cafe, not an "alcove for a vending machine with outdoor seating" as you have previously stated. If it wasn't included you could shave off around 800sft in the overall design. It's an add-on that isn't required and would have saved a ton of money if it wasn't included.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Resident, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Hmm..private donors for the books...that sounds an awful lot like you and me. That is if we want books to go in our new libraries.


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Resident, the Foundation knows how to raise private money for collections and furniture. Look what they did for Children's Library.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Maybe a chat with an architect friend will help you understand that the "cafe" you're talking about abuts an alcove and has no built in kitchen. There's nothing there but space for portable counters. the alcove would be there in any case.

I can't wait to see the library finished...it's going to be beautiful and will save Palo Alans a lot of money down the road - - yes o N


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:19 pm

If the new buildings are a bond issue, I assume that the books budget will be the same budget that it always was. I've been to the libraries and lack of space, not lack of materials is a bigger issue.

So bigger libraries, more books. And, yes, I'm sure Friends of the Library would donate. And they'll continue to get my old books.

I really, really don't get the animosity here. I get opposing a bond, but not the feeling of paranoia--that something's being snuck past all of us.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm

In my case it is not animosity nor paranoia..it is simply that there is no end in PA for the need of money. As it is never ending I think we need to be careful how we spend additional funds. I question the need to continue with the branch system when we currently need and will continue to need monies elsewhere - for example our schools. You honestly think the physical condition of the libraries is worse than that of the elementary schools?


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 9, 2008 at 5:42 pm

It's not that something is being snuck past, at least for me - it is that there are really two issues, but just one vote.

The two issues are operating costs/branches and the buildings. Our operating costs are quite high - almost 2x what other towns pay on a per capita basis. If the facilities expand as contemplated, the costs will probably go up. That's not good. Part, though not all, of that issue is the branches. We have five, while most towns on the Peninsula have 1 or 2 (RWC has 4, that's the closest to us).

We don't get to vote on operating costs and branches, though, just on the bond for the buildings. The polling showed the bond would not pass without branches; but it might pass with them. So the vote on the bond is, in that sense, a referendum on library spending levels and the small branches.

Of course, all the tension is heightened by one poster who derides those who disagree. I think he would get anyone's dander up ;-)


Posted by Super D, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Sorry. The add'l tax is too high for me. I'm barely making it right now. Unfortunately I do not make big money in my job. I can't afford another $500. Wish I could, but I can't. I'm voting no. Get some corporation to donate or reduce library operating costs (perhaps fewer libraries would help??).


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 9, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Okay, like I said, I'll vote for the bond. I understand that not everyone will agree. I think the branches are an advantage and are well-used. They'd be more used if there were more hours as well.

But like I said, I'm just surprised by the fury--if there's a particularly inflammatory poster, though, that will do it.

Honestly, though, I wish the pros and cons could just be discussed. All right, I know, I've done my share of agitating on my issues, so just because I'm not passionate about the issue doesn't mean others don't have ranting rights.

I do understand the money issue right now. PiE's asking for more this year and with the Dow the way it is, we're cutting back on everything--eating out, Christmas presents, etc. So I'll vote for it, but it voting for it will have a bit more of a sting than usual.


Posted by jim, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 10, 2008 at 7:59 am

It's simple really. On one side you have those that want the luxury of 5 branches and on the other side you want those that believe we can getter a better library system for less money with fewer branches.
The latter group has been disenfranchised by the process to chose this bond and the former group have so much vested interest that any criticism is considered an attack.

The current economy isnt' helping.


Posted by Mom and Property Owner, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 8:15 am

The greatest of Palo Altans have invested in civic spaces -- even when it is hard to do it. These libraries are more than just warehouses -- they are workshops and places for neighbors to gather -- yes, even in the event of disaster. Yes on N -- We can do it Palo Alto! This is for us as we age and for the next generations!


Posted by CharlesB, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2008 at 8:41 am

I have read every remark very carefully and now, more than ever, I am convinced that voting yes on N is the right and smart thing to do. I also think that if the dumb redneck racists frothing at the mouth at the McCrazy/Deliverance woman rallies spent even 20 minutes a month in a Palo Alto style library, they wouldn't resemble so much the crowds at Hitler's rallies in 1929-another fantastic reason to support modern, state of the art, multi-branch libraries in Palo Alto.


Posted by dave, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 10, 2008 at 8:47 am

I looked at both web sites given, one by Midtown Mom and the other by facts. What is interesting is there is a space for a snack bar on the first floor. The site given by MM is separate from the library. The site by Facts is adjacent to, but as far as I could determine, not connected by any passage to a library room. Maybe there are two different plans???


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:02 am

The Down/Nasdaq/S&P dropped ~5% again yesterday and are falling again today. As of 9:00 AM PST: Dow Down 5.29% Nasdaq Down 4.62% S&P 500 Down 6.02%

The cumulative drop from recent highs is now over 40% for these indices.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:05 am

Dear Stocks, I also think it worth pointing out the Terminators plea for us all to invest in California - we will be paid back in June with interest!


Posted by Midtown Mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:06 am

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to Dave's question about the plans. I was trying to find out more about the cost estimates, why the dollar amount of $76M was chosen, what we would get for that much money, and how it was decided that that's the space that's required. The information provided by the City is rather skimpy, to be honest. The link I gave to the city website is all that I found.

If anyone knows of a real cost estimate - the sort that a homeowner would have before committing to an expensive construction project - I would love to see it.


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:15 am

Resident, he did come back from the future to save us!

Other headlines from today:
* MSCI world equity index sees five-year low
* Panic selling hits U.S., European, Asia bourses
* Dash for cash even hits government bonds


Posted by Resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:17 am

Stocks - you realize PA is a bubble, or maybe an island unto itself!


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:23 am

Dave,

There is al alcove that already exists in the walk-through space between the library and community recreation center. Many residents, in surveys, said it would be nice of there was a place to get snacks or to eat a brought-in meal especially for kids, with it being understood that there is no food permitted inside the library. So, on one corner of the alcove, as you can see, there are some drawn-in table counters. There is *no* cafe kitchen infrastructure (sinks, refrigerators, cooking facility, etc. etc.). It's a spot for a few vending machines, with a few small tables for sitting. In fact, this is far LESS than most local libraries have for patrons. It's bare bones. A few vending machines sitting up against a wall, and some tables for people to sit outside and read while their kids are having a bag lunch. THere is NO additional square foot allotment, as the snack area was placed in a "dead space" zone that would have had small outside tables and chairs *anyway*.


Someone else said that the community is split on branches. That's not what the polls and surveys and dozens of community meetings say. Our branches aren't even staffed as full branches, like Redwood City's, and other cities. Our library stff is 2.5 times more efficient in terms of servicing 4 times more cumulative hours than neighboring libraries.

I understand that some are not going to vote for the bond, but it's important to deter some in these forums from stating distortions simply because they want the bond to fail.

Well over 60% of Palo Altans want this bond to pass, but we need 67% to pass the bond. *Some* of those opposed have been spreading the most outrageous distortions, in the hope of defeating the bond.

Can you imagine $90-$100M in 4 years for a *single central library*? That's what failure of Measure N means.


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:24 am

Resident, "...never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:31 am

MM, from a Weekly article talking about how costs were shaved from the initial $80 estimate. Every effort has been made to make this as economical a project as possible, with technology placement inside the libraries that will save labor and tax dollars in the long run. It's a very smart plan that has
"The cost-review committee also took about $3 million off the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center by refining the design estimates and adjusting the inflation estimate to accord with the slowing market, Sartor said.

"The city is also researching less-expensive methods of managing the construction bidding processes for both projects, Sartor said.

"The cost-review committee included engineer Doug Hohbach, architects Tony Carrasco and John Northway, construction manager John Gaston and representatives from the cities of Mountain View and San Jose.

"Sartor said the staff plans to return to the council in June for approval to purchase the smaller site and expand the design contract.

The council will decide whether to place the library projects on the November ballot in July, Acting City Manager Kelly Morariu said. She said the city is also doing additional polling to assess public support for the projects."


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:35 am

"...never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

I wonder how many people really understand what the implication is of this Donne quote, knowing that Donne scored it to implore care for "the other". When I think of the many thousands of Palo Altans who benefit from our libraries, and how that benefits the entire community, I can think of few phrases that better represents what public investment in educational and social capital infrastructure means.


Posted by PTA member, a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:40 am

I am voting NO even though I am a BIG supporter of libraries and use th Los Altos County Library because they always get me what I need when I need it and any Palo Alto resident can use it free of charge that I suggest others vote NO too.... We need to be part of the Santa Clara County system and NOT be an isolated entity when it comes to books and what I believe will be electronic media in the future..My kids use only the Gunn and Los Altos libraries and they get everything they need from thm .. We don't need 5 libraries but ONLY one and until we stop listening to those who think they should have a "local" library and investigate seriously joining the PAUSD libraries with the Palo Alto libraries with the county libraries I am voting NO>>>>


Posted by PTA member, too, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

I can understand PTA member's point of view; she really doesn't seem to need the Palo Alto Library. But many thousands of others do. I want my kids to be abble to walk and bike to a library after school, instead of the mall.


Posted by context, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:19 am

Facts,

There weren't a lot of public libraries around in the 1600's. Caring for "the other" is more applicable to helping people with basic human rights like food & shelter.
He would probably be amused that you're trying to twist his quote to spend money on a building that already exists when retirement funds and portfolios that people are relying on for future security are dropping daily.


Posted by 21st century context, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:39 am

Donne, living in Palo Alto, would have, I'm sure considered that food and shelter are not in short supply in Palo Alto


Posted by libraries are a good investment, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:49 am

Here's a great link to some of the studies that one poster has mentioned. I was paging through this and it's really, really fascinating. Who would have thought that public libraries pay back a return on taxpayer investment? Knowing this, how could anyone but vote YES for Measure N?
Web Link


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2008 at 11:19 am

I agree that it's not time to expand the library system. But the fact is we already *have* five branches. And they're well-used. College Terrace, the smallest of them, is one of the few west of El Camino city facilities. Getting to the other branches is a cross-town trek for College Terrace and Barron Park families. It has been a real community gathering place--plus, it's a sweet little building, frankly.

The downtown library seems to cater mostly to senior citizens. It is the only one in walking distance of the senior centers. Many seniors can't drive. Again, a beloved, used library.

Mitchell Park and Main, I think, speak for themselves.

The libraries aren't underused, they're crowded. I don't use the library much right now, but there have been times when the library was a real sanity-saver--between jobs, for one.

Shutting down branches doesn't make a lot of sense given how heavily our libraries are used and the cost involved in building a big main library. It would be less convenient for most people and still cost an arm and a leg to build. It also wouldn't be available for several years, causing a major disruption to the system.


Posted by context, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

"I'm sure considered that food and shelter are not in short supply in Palo Alto"

You might be surprised as you see the result of this melt-down play out over the next six months. I sure wouldn't want to have exercised options with a buy to cover this year. There are going to be some nasty shocks come next April for people with incomes, let alone pensioners!


Posted by No Way, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

The idea that anyone still thinks the bond will pass is laughable. We are getting hammered folks - we are looking at a 2-5 year melt-down, unemployment will spike to 10% or higher, there will be negative GDP growth, tech spending will crater. People are terrified. The city budget will get creamed. This bond was a near thing a year ago; today, there's no chance.


Posted by context, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Edit: Of course I meant "sell to cover" in last post.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm

No Way, you are of course correct. The people on these forums already have their positions staked out and aren't going to change them. This bond will be decided by the people who don't read these forums. The ones that are living this melt-down.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by 21st century context, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 1:24 pm

"We are getting hammered folks"

And that's why we want a library built to adapt to these hard times. We'll need this facility more than ever.


Posted by captain sensible, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 10, 2008 at 1:36 pm

If you are having problems paying your mortgage don't start spending money on a re-model.



Posted by Good day, Sir!, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm

The number of branches is now a non-issue. No bond is going to pass in November. This bond is officially toast.



Posted by PTA member, too, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm

"No bond is going to pass in November"

That's not what I'm hearing from my neighbors, and parents I spoke to last evening at school.


Posted by Midtown Mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:58 pm

There is bombshell for municipal bonds in the current credit crunch.

Measure N only says that the city will sell bonds for $76M in principal. The mayor states that "The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale".

Measure N does not tell us the actual impact on our taxes, because the cost of the bonds (in interest) is not known. If the city cannot readily obtain favorable financing, the interest rate costs could double or triple, so that the impact on taxpayers ends up being significantly higher than what has been proposed.

That is, assuming that the city can find someone willing to loan them $76M for construction.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 10, 2008 at 3:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by bur slrsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 10, 2008 at 3:26 pm

PTA member, too,

"That's not what I'm hearing from my neighbors, and parents I spoke to last evening at school."

You do realize that Palo Alto schools are actually out yesterday and today? Web Link
It's a bit difficult to speak to parents after school when you're the only one there.


Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:01 pm

At present the space between the library and the community center is a bicycle path for JLS students with a crossing guard at Middlefield Road. Is there a plan to change this path if the space between the two buildings is going to be an outdoor cafe/eating area? It doesn't sound like a good place for people to carry food to tables if a bicylist is going to ride through any minute, and don't say that bikes will stop, they don't stop at stop signs so why should they stop for cafes.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Our kids had 2 days off school. Yesterday morning top of the list of what my kids wanted to do was go to the library. Palo Alto has five libraries and they were all closed. So much for interaction between the school district and the libraries. We did not want babysitting, but we did want something to do and the libraries failed.

Will passing this bond give us libraries that are open when the kids are out of school on Thursdays?


Posted by No but, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm

No it won't, but the locked buildings will be much much nicer.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Were the libraries closed in observance of Yom Kippur?


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 10, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Were they closed? Or did you just go in the morning? If before 12:00 you need to go to Mountain View or another city's libraries. Palo Alto libraries get Thursday morning's off. You get what you pay for (or not in our case).


Posted by Hours, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Mitchell is open 62 hours / week. It opens Thurs at 12.

Los Altos Main branch is open 66 hours / week, including Thurs at 10.


Posted by library user, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 10, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I maybe an atypical library user. I visit Mitchell Park, Main and Downtown libraries at least 3 times each month, and read on average at least 20 plus books a month that are exclusively obtained through the library system. Do I feel a bond measure is needed to improve the palo alto libraries? NO!!!! The libraries serve my needs and that of my child more than adequately. Don't buy into the fear, uncertainty, and doubt. One of many issues is are libraries serving as a child care adjunct because parents feel more comfortable telling their kids to go to the library rather than be at home alone? I have to say, when I visit Mitchell Park, the number of kids who are there with parents arriving at 5 pm as they get off work astounds me.


Posted by There is a kitchen too, a resident of Southgate
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Well, after reading the comments as to whether there is a "café" or not in the new Mitchell Park Library/community center design, I went to the plans referenced in a post above... To my surprise, there is not only an approximately 500 sq. foot "snack bar", there is also a 300 sq foot kitchen with an adjacent storage room of about $170 sq. feet. So there is a kitchen in the design, even if it is not directly next to the "snack bar". Frankly, all this is way too much. In my opinion, the Mitchell Park library and community center as they are are not "dilapidated"... They are just buildings in the style that was prevalent in that neighborhood when it was built 50 years ago (somewhat Eichler like). You could call it old-fashioned if you wish. I don't agree with the adjective "dilapidated".

At any rate, this is not just a library upgrade. It's the building of a whole new library plus a whole new community center, complete with "snack bar" and kitchen.

Too much in my opinion. We just can't afford it.


Posted by facts, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:19 pm

The kitchen has nothing to do with the mythical "cafe", and would be used for events where the city rents out space for a fee, further defraying the cost of the recreation center. This was discussed at many public meetings. I think the current rec center also has a kitchen; it's common for rec centers to have kitchens.

Also, programming between the library and recreation center will be far more efficient, saving taxpayers money and delivering more programming for less.



Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:46 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by context, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 11, 2008 at 7:33 am

It's starting already. Web Link


Posted by Why, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Why does the Editor take out all posts mentioned the cost of a Cafe in the plans?

I don't know if it is true or not - but there are a lot of posts that are obviously not true that stay on. Editor, can you please explain why you are doing that?

Thank you.


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm

It is a curious pattern of deletions that seem to indicate a bias.


Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm

And how many years will this $28 per $100k assessed value have to be paid?


Posted by what a waste, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Yes. There are 4 coffee shops within walking distance of Mitchell park. Pete's is just on the corner.
I've mentioned this twice in this thread and the posts have mysteriously disappeared.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 11, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Interesting edits - the word Damn is however appears to be perfectly fine in this thread as it is yet to be deleted.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 12, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Yep, a Cafe listed as one of the highlighted features in the plan is getting a very low profile when they start talking about "no frills".


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2008 at 10:34 pm

So could you show us the calculations that got you to that figure? I am not in favor of this bond, but I still have trouble with that figure, so help me to see the light.


Posted by some people are just crazy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:23 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 7:02 am

If someone believes in their own truth that is flawed, they are not lying, they are just wrong. No reason to assume malice.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:16 am

Sell the libraries. Book store companies may be interested in buying them to have branch stores out of the downtown area. NO on N.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:18 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by some people are just crazy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:26 am

It's hard to fathom anyone wanting to close our libraries.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

I know 'PTA member', and she _was_ at a local parents group at Paly; they were allowed to use the space last Thursday evening even though Paly was closed. That's very common. They met in the old theatre. they has a great meeting about normal business, and one of the things they discussed was the library bond. After normal business was finished lots of people were enthusiastic and were signing up to canvas for the library.

We know they need to be repaired, and we know that delay will just cost us more money in the long run. LIbraries are an especially good investment in hard times, because of the great free services they offer.


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:45 am

Not on a 4 day weekend it isn't! hahaha BUSTED!

loving it!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:50 am

Some People

If I have to pay an extra $300+ on my taxes, any use from the library will not be free, I will be paying for it. Library services are never free, they are budgeted into our taxes, so we pay for them. If this bond passes, we will be paying a lot more for them.

This is not free. Never was, never will be. Libraries are not free.


Posted by voting yes for the library, and my husband too, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I will be voting yes on this bond. I can't think of a better way to spend $140. It's unconscionable to see a few poster here who want to destroy our library. I can't believe that anyone would be so mean-spirited.




Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

If we joined the county system wouldn't we have access to a larger collection?


Posted by but seriously, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:37 pm

If it were $140 per year for everyone I think there would be less resistance. But for you to pay $140 my family will have to pay closer to $350 or so -- and we are on the low end of relatively recent purchase prices. I am not interested in subsidizing others to use the libraery when I am trying to hang in there during a bleak economic time. Parecel taxes, fine. But bond measures that will require vastly different payments into the distant future? Not so fair.


Posted by but really, seriously, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I just went here Web Link it looks like my bond contribution will actually result in a personal profit to me and the community. Who would have thought that libraries actually pay back a positive return on taxpayer investment.? wow! This bond is money in my pocket! I'm voting YES.


Posted by Sock puppets r us, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:18 pm

That wins the prize as the most transparently sock puppet posting yet.

By golly, let's make the bond even BIGGER to make up for the collapse on Wall Street! We'll be rich! Brilliant.


Posted by but really, seriously, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Sock, you need to find your shoes before you cast aspersions. Apparently there's lots more good information where that came from. Of course, if we take your tack re: the bond, we won't have a library to go to. This is exactly the time that we need libraries, when people are unable to buy books and digital media, or subscriptions to expensive databases. We can't expand those collection because the current library has no more room. Vote YES, on N, to keep our libraries open and functioning.


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Mike,

If we joined the county system, the available collection would be even larger without an expensive bond. Using your logic this is the best path to personal wealth as documented by 25 studies. You should really be advocating a No vote.


Posted by please get your facts straight, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:51 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

My facts are straight, according to you and your 25 studies, a larger collection is our path to properity. What better way to make that happen fast and start reaping the benefits than joining the county system.


Posted by Too much, a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 13, 2008 at 4:10 pm

The only responsible thing is to vote against the bond. Saddling your neighbor with a $500/year bond payment - esp if your own is $100 or less - is the wrong thing to do given our financial crisis. We need and want better libraries, but our costs are too high and this just makes them even higher. Be a good neighbor, please vote no.


Posted by please get your facts straight, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Is being a good neighbor voting to close libraries? That's a really strange logic. If you vote no it means less walkable neighborhoods, less story times, less student programming at the library, a smaller collection, and many other negatives. The VAST majority of citizens will have a $139.000 or less bond payment - that will guarantee sustainability for the library for the next 50 years. We must pass Measure N to keep our libraries open.


Posted by please get your facts straight, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm

to be exact, that's a $139.00 bond payment, or less for the VAST majority of residents...anyway, I'm encouraged because 5-of-6 people I speak with are for the bond! It's going to pass with flying colors!


Posted by No Plan to Close Libraries, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Every time I read a post that says vote yes or libraries will close, I am reinforced in my decision to vote NO.
This lie has been repeated so many times even saying what I am saying here will just bring on another repeat.
There is NO PLAN to CLOSE LIBRARIES.


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 5:22 pm

voting against measure N closes nothing. N is not about operating expenses. There is nothing in N that keeps libraries open. So there is nothing in the absence of N that forces their closure. You are misrepresenting the impact of the passing or not passing of N


Posted by facts are funny things, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Anyone with a house assessed at $1 million would pay over $250. Anyone assessed at $1.5 million would pay over $375. So that means just about anyone who has bought in the last 10 years is paying way above $139 average, and many are paying north of $400. And these people are, for the most part, not "rich." These are the people who stretched their last nickel to buy into Palo Alto, are mortgaged to the eyeballs, have seen their retirement and college funds evaporate before their eyes in the last few months, and now would need to pay the additional hundreds of dollars every year for the same service as today (in much nicer buildings).

If you are lucky enough to have a house with a low assessment, good for you. But do the right thing for your neighbors. Vote no on the bond, it is the wrong time to spend that kind of money.


Posted by Measure N will keep our libraries open, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 13, 2008 at 7:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by bur srlsy, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2008 at 8:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by vote YES on Measure D for Our Kids, Students, Seniors, Adults, and Working Professionals, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:04 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:40 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Marge Osborne, a resident of University South
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I'm voting "yes" because Mitchell Park library has to close so many days every summer. I almost fainted in there last July, it got so warm. I really felt bad for the librarians.


Posted by Richard W., a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I want to see a more updated collection in our library, but wen can't do that until we build more room for the collection. That's why I'm voting for this measure. PLease join me in voting yes on Measure N.


Posted by library booster, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:57 pm

This is a "no contest" issue and it's a "no brainer" too. Gosh, the paint and rugs at Main are really old; there's actually mildew forming in the archives room! I've heard that the Historical Association has run out of room for its materials in Main Library. the last time I went to genealogy there I had to wait a long time for materials to be brought up from the basement. A lot of that will change when we finally have a modern library system like our neighbors in Mt. View, Menlo Park, Los Altos, and Redwood City. My wife and I are voting yes, it's worth it. You get so much for so little. I love the library and I'm proud of our city for taking care of it.


Posted by boomer who loves libraries, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Has anyone heard about the great new lecture series that the library is doing downtown? It's aimed at baby boomers and the lecturers are coming from Stanford. Thank you, Palo Alto Library!


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:01 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by jls mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:42 pm

vote yes on n, so that we have more room for new books and we can stop the overcrowding at mitchell...i also want to make a shout out to all those who have worked for years to make this bond measure a success


Posted by Boomer too, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2008 at 11:34 pm

I heard about the lectures for boomers. I don't understand why highly paid librarians are doing it. They should just offer the space to organizations who do this kind of thing. I think the librarians are bored.


Posted by boomer who loves libraries, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:56 am

Boomer, the lectures are provided by experts from Stanford, at no charge to the library. This is the kind of excellent library programming that many in our community are unaware of. Passing Measure N will enable a lot more of this sort of thing. Please come to the lectures, they're really going to be interesting.


Posted by soccer mom with errands to run, a resident of University South
on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:41 am

I love our branch system because I can do my library business from almost any part of the city. The branches are really small and don't cost that much money to run, and our kids use them after school and on weekends. I can't imagine closing them down. PLease vote for Measure N.


Posted by what next?, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2008 at 7:27 am

Now that this bond has failed. It's time to start talking about how to move forward. The first step *must* be to give the people of Palo Alto a say in what they wants. We will get a decent library system with the backing of people of Palo Alto and not just the special interest group.
One of the main reasons this bond failed is due to the pro-bond band trying to hide the actual costs of our library system. It isn't mentioned anywhere in the bond literature. People publicly backing the bond aren't even aware of how much we're paying. It is obvious that people do not like being taken for fools. It is time that we are completely open with everyone and get *real* feedback.
We're aren't going to get agreement by following the previous path allowing the library system to be run by only FOPAL.
We need a survey that sets out each option outlining the costs including the cost of the current system. Involve the public, be clear about the cost, and we may get a proposal for a library system that the majority of Palo Altans can agree upon.




Posted by libraryfan, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2008 at 7:55 am

To library booster and others,

If it passes, the bond will give us better libraries, but it won't give us a good library like the one in Mountain View. That library is only 10 minutes from my house in Midtown PA, has bigger and better collections, and is open more hours of the week than PA libraries. I urge a NO vote on N so that we can have a good bond measure instead that will give us a really good library. The kind of library that Palo Alto deserves.


Posted by Martha, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:28 am

"If it passes, the bond will give us better libraries, but it won't give us a good library like the one in Mountain View. "

Oh, no, this is really, really wrong. All you have to do is look at the great wok that the LAC and the design group did, and the input from the dozens of community meetings and all the polls and surveys. This bond is a good as gold and it's going to pass. I know that in my heart because everyone I talk to says they're voting for it. I haven't mey anyone who says they're voting no on the bond. All my senior friends at Channing House and Lytton Gardens have voted for it, and all my neighbors on my block have already voted absentee for it. They all want a better library and this bond will win. My granddaughters love the library. How could we ever take the library away from them? I could never vote against a library.


Posted by uninterested, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Do people really talk about this bond? There is always a lot of emotion on the forums but I haven't met anyone socially that has even mentioned it. There may be a strong group behind it but most people don't appear to care one way or the other. This lack of interest doesn't bode well for the bond.


Posted by citizen, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm

My church group met last week after service to discuss Measure N. A few people were against it, but most of us are for it. I'd say there were 40 of us in the room (we were discussing all the measures on the ballot, and the candidates. Easily 35 of us will be voting for.


Posted by save our library!, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I just got back from Main. I had been reading this forum from one of the laptops provided by the library (a great service!) and was reading this forum. I will definitely be voting YES for Measure N because we haven't spent any money on our library system in decades. It's an embarrassment that Palo Alto of all places has let its library get into this condition and there is no excuse for letting this sad situation continue. I am going to spend the next three weeks canvassing my neighborhood in support of the library. I urge all responsible citizens to vote Yes on Measure N.


Posted by Who needs space, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I'm confused about needing space for the library collection. The downtown branch has about 100 completely empty shelves. They are tossing out perfectly good books I don't understand why. To make it easier to close later? Are they moving materials to Mitchell Park so it will look more crowded there?
I am not exaggerating, the number of empty shelves is mind boggling.


Posted by ex-librarian, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

They are cleaning the shelves, and preparing to re-shelve another collection there


Posted by Maintenance vs. Building, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm

"Gosh, the paint and rugs at Main are really old; there's actually mildew forming in the archives room!"

I probably have a misunderstanding about the bond...

Will the bond help this situation? Won't it involve allocating significantly less money/sq ft. for maintenance?

Or are we buying a new car because of a flat tire?


Posted by spend, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm

No, we're spending $3Mil on paint and new carpets for one building alone!


Posted by Who needs space, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Downtown is "preparing to re-shelve another collection there" ??
What does that mean? The shelves have been empty for so long, maybe a year or two already and more and more are being emptied. In the meantime they are crying that Mitchell Park needs more shelf space.
There are hidden agendas here, I don't know what they are.


Posted by staff issue, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:37 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by ex-librarian, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

"they only have 109 library staff"

Staff is comprised of a larger number of part-timers, so that the city doesn't have to pay benefits. This is a staff efficiency that those who don't understand library operations try to make look like a bad thing. It's unfortunate that we have so many "Monday-morning" library directors on this thread.


"Downtown is "preparing to re-shelve another collection there"

That's right, the shelves are going to be moved to another part of the library,in anticipation of small interior changes being made to downtown. Both small branches are thinning out their collections to create more efficiencies in the system at large. So here we have another taxpayer-saving move.

Vote YES on N!


Posted by 16 more yes votes, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:25 pm

We just finished our neighborhood coffee. Sixteen people in attendance, and 16 people voting for the bond. Among them seniors, young professionals, several moms, and a few assorted others. This bond crosses personal interest lines. It's not even going to be close. Measure N is what we've all been waiting for; we're finally going to be able to replace those buildings, and have a great library system, just like our neighbors in Menlo Park, Los Altos, and Mt. View.


Posted by bur srsly, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:29 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by fact checker, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm

"This is a staff efficiency that those who don't understand library operations try to make look like a bad thing"


However, Palo Alto requiring TWICE as many full time librarians per 1000 cardholders compared to our neighboring cities IS a bad thing. Especially when it translates into Palo Alto paying TWICE as much per capita as neighboring cities.


Posted by Lots of nos, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I was surprised at how against the bond the people at the volleyball game were tonight. There were about 20 parents and most said they were certain the bond would fail, since the economic times were so bad and the bond was so large. All were in favor of libraries but thought the bond was just off base.


Posted by No please, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm

How can you say vote for the bond? My children were here tonight - they will have to pay $450 every year! On top of their already incredible property tax costs. They just wrote their check to PIE and the PTA - they said something had to go.

Can't Palo Alto figure out how to spend what it has - they keep needing more and more. Please vote no.


Posted by A library view, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm

I worked at a library for many years before marrying and moving to Palo Alto. I have never understood the branches - in the town where I worked they were done away with years ago. Everyone knows that a smaller number of larger branches creates better facilities, better collection, better service, and a better library experience, all at much great efficiency. Our tax basis is low so our own bond cost is not so high - but Palo Alto is just on the wrong course in terms of libraries. Voting no seems like the only thing we can do.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Ohlone School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 10:08 pm

"They just wrote their check to PIE and the PTA "

What many don't understand is that this bond will greatly increase programming coordination among Parks and Rec, the Library, and PAUSD, thus *reducing* the amount of future contributions needed.


" I have never understood the branches - in the town where I worked they were done away with years ago"

What's interesting about this is that library branches are making a *comeback* nationally. Look at Redwood City. Look at San Jose and San Francisco (they just passed a bond in extremely difficult financial straits with 75% approval). Branches are not only repositories for books and media; they bring communities closer together. I've asked literally hundreds of people if they can imagine our branches closing. Only a handful have said it's something they want. Just look at Measure D in 2002. 63% of our citizens voted for library improvements then, including the branches. The majority of us want this bond to pass, and I hope we are able to cross the 2/3 majority threshold this time. It's a high bar, but the alternatives are not acceptable. I was at Mitchell Park one day this summer, doing research on my lunch hour, and my keychain thermometer read 94 degrees Fahrenheit! It was h-o-t in there. I want his bond to pass, and will be working hard to see that it does.


Posted by What a joke, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:44 am

I asked my friend who is a PIE board member if PIE thought they would ask for less money if the library bond passed. That generated a good guffaw. She said she honestly saw no relationship between what PIE funds and the public libraries. Besides, PIE funds staff; the bond funds buildings.







Posted by too many branches, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2008 at 7:54 am

"Just look at Measure D in 2002. 63% of our citizens voted for library improvements then, including the branches. "

Measure D didn't include branches so the pro-branch lobby voted it down! That's the point 63% of Palo Altans didn't want the branches and that's why we got such a high turnout.
You just don't get it. After measure D and after the most recent survey, it is perfectly clear that the majority of Palo Altans do not want branches. In the last survey only 10% wanted the DownTown branch included in this bond. Where do you get from 10% to a majority?



Posted by funding, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2008 at 7:58 am

I wouldn't use Redwood City as an example. Their new library cost them $1.6M and no bond ours is costing $76M. Spot the difference


Posted by bur srsly, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:04 am

Who would vote for a library bond that includes a provision for a $4,500,000 Cafe? How can they possibly describe this bond as "no frills"?


Posted by vote YES on Measure D, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:46 am

"She said she honestly saw no relationship between what PIE funds and the public libraries."

Restored library infrastructure will enable more PAUSD/Library cooperation. Just look at the "homework help" program and teen and child reading development program. Measure N will reduce the need for supplemental moneys spent on school programming.

About branches, all the polls say that Palo Altans are vastly supportive of our library system AS IT IS - with branches.I don't know where the above distorted numbers are coming from. It's also true that Palo Altans would defeat a bond that didn't include branches. THAT's what's in the polls, not the distortion written above.

Redwood City built ONE small branch - i.e. it ADDED a branch at a time when opponents to Measure N in this forum claim that branches are no longer popular. the Redwood Cit, San Jose and San Francisco (and other community) examples of ADDING branches disproves what they say.

Also, there is no cafe planned - none. Go look at the videos and the plans. No kitchen, no sinks, only a space for vending machines.

I really wish that the 2'3 Measure N opponents on this thread would stop their multiple names and spewing distortion. I hope they understand that as I canvas neighborhoods that 5 of 6 people support this bond.

Vote YES on N


Posted by Who needs space, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:50 am

Thank you, ex-librarian for this information about Downtown and College Terrace:
>the shelves are going to be moved to another part of the library,in anticipation of small interior changes being made to downtown. Both small branches are thinning out their collections to create more efficiencies in the system at large. So here we have another taxpayer-saving move.<

I don't understand how throwing out books which require no maintenance makes a system more efficient, or how it improves a library. But I do know it makes me drive to Mitchell Park and Main more often.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:00 am

I may be the only person who actually thinks a cafe at a library is a great idea.

My ideal library would be a place where we could envisage ourselves selecting a book, taking it outside to buy lunch and reading before continuing with our day's errands, chores, returning to work, or other activities. I picture mother's watching their toddlers play in a play area after story time while their parents are able to relax and perhaps socialize before going home for nap time. I think of a good library as being a destination as well as an errand stop.

However, it would be impossible to have five of these type of libraries functioning. It would be much better to have one where we could get public transport to take us, where we could perhaps swim afterwards or take the kids to the junior museum.

One super library situated at the site of Main, taking the art center into account and being a recreational/leisure hub of the city would be an asset that we could be proud of.


Posted by FACTS, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:04 am

Resident, one super library would have to be twice the size of the current proposed Mitchell site, and would come in at nearly $100M. We would have to close all the branches, and Main, or Mitchell. Palo Alto citizens have clearly said in polls that they don't want that to happen.

Vote YES on Measure N


Posted by ex-librarian, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:06 am

"I don't understand how throwing out books which require no maintenance makes a system more efficient,"

All libraries regularly cull older books that no longer circulate, to make the collection more current; this is done with books and digital media.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:12 am

FACTS

Yes, I fully understand your point. I have described my ideal library. I think the type of library I suggest would have wide appeal once opened. I realise that you feel that the majority of Palo Altans like their small neighborhood branches with no frills and short opening hours and having to order the materials they want in advance. I think that those who are within walking distance to a small branch may not see the point of view of the many of us who are not near a small library or want something bigger and better.

I am entitled to dream.


Posted by FACTS, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:18 am

Resident, Dreaming is good, but trying to float a $100M bond for a single library, and closing both branches + Mitchell or Main would never fly in Palo Alto. We would end up with no library at all. btw, most Palo Altans can bike or walk to a library; that would not be the case with a single central library. Just look at the 1000's of students who walk to our libraries after school to do homework; we would lose that if we lose the branches. Other cities are ADDING branches. There's a reason for that.


Posted by hidden costs, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:08 pm

FOPAL's site lists the additional annual operating costs for this library at $750,000 to $1.1M a year. This additional cost is not covered by the bond and will have to come out of the city's operating budget.
We don't have $1.1M spare in our budget for the libraries. This bond is just doesn't add up. It makes no sense to put a bond to the public until you've worked out how you're going to pay for the additional operating costs caused by the bond.


Posted by FACTS, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm

"FOPAL's site lists the additional annual operating costs "

FoPAL's site does not include the economies created by installing labor saving materials handling technologies LIKE EVERY OTHER LIBRARY ON THE PENINSULA HAS. THis will SAVE almost $2M in annual staff operating costs. This has been discussed many time, publicly.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:29 pm

FACTS is right, this has been mentioned many times and even the consultants to the library mentioned this. Library operations will save money if we are able to build Mitchell Park with the capacity to handle materials handling technology. This is ANOTHER good reason to support Measure N.


Posted by no on N, too, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Much of the "money saving technology" is needed because the branch system requires transferirng books between the locations. One branch, no need for much of the technology!

PiE $$ and the library - there are no services currently supported by PiE that the library can take over. PiE supports aides in classrooms, reading specialists, counselers in high school, science classes, etc. Will the librarians suddenly become college counselers too? One on one specialists who work with kids that have reading issues? Will they start teaching Biotech at Paly? Take a look at the PiE website!

Most of the current PAUSD parents have purchased their homes in the last 20 years and have a pretty high tax basis for their home making a PiE donation (and other optional items) much harder to afford.


Posted by save our libraries!, a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Gee, the library bond opponents are really heating up the rhetoric. Just look at the distortions they're putting out there.

Palo Altans are going to pass this bond.

The Measure N opponents remind me of the desperation of the McCain-Palin campaign. They will say anything or smear anyone just to get a vote. Don't fall for their transparent attempts to close our libraries!

Vote yes on Measure N to keep our libraries open.


Posted by parent in the know, a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:53 pm

"there are no services currently supported by PiE that the library can take over."

This is simply not true. our library does reading and language development coordination with PAUSD, and there's more to come if Measure N passes.


Posted by Palo Alto teacher, a resident of Palo Verde School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:56 pm

I will be voting yes, the library does a great job with helping our curriculum to fill out. Their daytime and weekend programs are a godsend.


Posted by Resident, a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:06 pm

FACTS

Yes, dreaming is good. With dreams come innovations. With dreams come new ideas.

This present library bond has no dreams, no innovations, no new ideas and no frills.

Why can't someone work out the costs and see what could be attained with a little imagination.

Why can't a single library /recreation hub be a success. Yes, it will mean that some people can't walk to a library, but it would mean that many more could take shuttles and have more to do when they get there. You talk about seniors walking to a library, most seniors I know would find anything more than a 5 minute walk very hard, and would much prefer to walk - particularly if they had to carry some books. Many school children go to the library after school to play on the computers rather than actually read. If there were shuttles from their schools to one large library there could be a myriad of afterschool activities for them to enjoy. For example, they could do art classes or theatre classes, basketball, tennis or swimming classes, highschool/elementary mentoring programs, endless possibilities.

I don't get it, why should anyone want a small branch with limited resources which have to be put on hold a few days prior at a reduced opening hours branch, when we could have a wonderful recreation hub at Main/Rinconada/Lucie Stern/ with endless all city programs, excellent shuttles and multiple activity centers.

As I said, I can dream. But dreams can lead to reality.


Posted by Not this N, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:08 pm

"The Measure N opponents remind me of the desperation of the McCain-Palin campaign."
Funny. I've been following these discussions, occasionally posting, and I was thinking the same thing about the N supporters. For example, if we were to ask Palo Alto teacher which programs, specifically, s/he is referring to, I half expect to get a vacantly, flippantly, cheerful response of, "All of them!"


Posted by YeS! on Measure N, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:13 pm

"why should anyone want a small branch with limited resources which have to be put on hold a few days prior at a reduced opening hours branch, when we could have a wonderful recreation hub at Main/Rinconada/Lucie Stern/ with endless all city programs, excellent shuttles and multiple activity centers"

Why try to duplicate that when our library already provides it?


Posted by Marie Pensake, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Our reading group of 7 will vote YES on N. We want our libraries to stay open.


Posted by no on N, too, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Dear Parent in the know

"our library does reading and language development coordination with PAUSD, and there's more to come if Measure N passes. " Is that the Fairmeadow library which is run by PAUSD or the Mitchell Park library? PAUSD and the children's library programs do seem nicely coordinated - the summer reading program, Palo Alto reads, etc. That has nothing to do with PiE. Please tell me what PiE would stop funding at Fairmeadow if the new library was built. Please tell me specifically what new programs would/could be provided because of a new building at Mitchell Park which could not take place at the Fairmeadow library.


Posted by Palo Alto teacher, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm

"Please tell me specifically what new programs would/could be provided because of a new building at Mitchell Park which could not take place at the Fairmeadow library"

1) Reading, language, and cultural development programs that are coordinated with the Recreation Center, meant to supplement PAUSD curriculum

2) After school programs that currently exist, and will grow once we have library space sufficient to run them.

3) Senior mentoring programs that teach kids many life skills, coordinated through the library, after school hours.

These are three of dozens of opportunities that have been discussed. We'll lose these opportunities of we vote no on Measure N.


Vote YES on Measure N!


Posted by hidden costs, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:19 pm

You really don't know what you're talking about. The audit lists the need for 2-3 librarians for the expanded library. All savings are included in the report. You're out of luck here.



Posted by Palo Alto teacher, a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Thew audit also says that in the long run that materials handling technology made possible by Measure N will keep the library from having to add many more staff in the future, as circulation expands. Please read the entire audit, and please do try to make the meetings where the auditor dealt with the same questions that you are giving the wrong answers to.

Vote YES on N, to keep our libraries open.


Posted by Paly student, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm

YES on Measure N! I want our library to survive and have the same cool collection as Mt. View. We need to make room for more books and media. YES on N!


Posted by gunn student, a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm

our student group is blanketing neighborhoods with the truth about our great libraries - we need them! we use thyem after school and on weekends for research and homework help. please join us and vote yes on measure n....YES YES YES on nN


Posted by Skeptic, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I take it these Paly and Gunn students don't believe in attending classes during school hours?


Posted by Used to be a Skeptic, a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:13 pm

I am voting YES, because my kids use the library on weekends. There's all kinds of programming available.


Posted by Gunn student's friend, typing from Mitchell Park, a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I just turned 18 and will be voting YEs on N


Posted by Libraries are a good thing, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm

There are SO many reasons to vote YES on Measure N. One of them is the fact that almost half of all Palo Alto residents, and many others, visit our libraries - for intellectual stimulation, camaraderie, learning, and research. how can anyone vote against a library?

YES on N YES on N YES on N YES on N YES on N YES on N YES on N YES on N


Posted by in the library now, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I agree with laagt. Vote YES!


Posted by booklover, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Please join me and vote YES on Measure N


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Wall Street has its worst day since the 1987 stock market crash.
Dow Down 7.87% Nasdaq Down 8.47% S&P 500 Down 9.03%

poof!


Posted by booklover, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm

"Wall Street has its worst day since the 1987 stock market crash."

Funny how you didn't mention yesterday's historical rally...

Another good reason to keep our library open; people are going to be holding iback on buying books. Borrowing is in! YES on Measure N!

Yeah Libraries!


Posted by stocks, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Dear Booklover,

That's because stocks fell yesterday.


Posted by booklover, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Another good reason to keep our library open; people are going to be holding iback on buying books. Borrowing is in! YES on Measure N!


Posted by nonsense, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 6:10 pm

You want to charge me $500 a year so that I can borrow books. I can borrow books today for free. When we're hurting financially it makes no sense for you to charge me $500 for what we get for free today.


Posted by no on N, too, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2008 at 6:31 pm

PAUSD teacher - of course, with more space there can be more programming. I still have yet to hear anything that PiE currently funds which will no longer be needed if the bond passes. PiE funding will decrease because less people will have the "extra" money to donate.


Posted by family guy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:21 pm

I'm voting YES, and so are my four grown children. My wife is voting no. Looks like a win to me.


Posted by booklover, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:23 pm

"You want to charge me $500 a year "

According to every valuation study out there, you will make a profit from that investment. Libraries are about way more than books. They're about community, improving education, senior enablement, language development, and so on. Why would anyone want to take that away from their community?

Vote YES on N!


Posted by Cecil Brown, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Cecil Brown here. I will vote for the library bond because its the right thing to do. I want someone to convince me that we should close libraries in this town. Be aware that as soon as you begin to argue that position I'm calling the State Mental health authorities to have you taken away.


Posted by nonsense, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:37 pm

We have a library system now. It doesn't disappear because you say it will. The sun will rise tomorrow and our libraries will open up (unless it's Thursday morning when I'll need to visit Mountain View to go to the library).

Charging me $500 next year for what I get for free now makes no sense.


Posted by CB, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm

"We have a library system now"

But we won't if Measure N fails. We will lose libraries if Measure N fails. That's why I'm voting yes.


Posted by CB's neighbor, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:35 am

Right on, CB! I don't know how the few people on this thread who want to close libraries think they're going to get away with it. This bond is going to pass, because the good citizens of Palo Alto want a library they can be proud of. We haven't spent any money for library infrastructure for almost 50 years!

Please vote Yes on N to keep our libraries open.


Posted by nonsense, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:07 am

We will still have our library system if Measure N fails. Measure N has nothing to do with keeping libraries open. It's about sprucing up buildings.



Posted by Made up names, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:12 am

The made up names - this is sock puppetry as an art form!


Posted by concerned citizen, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 16, 2008 at 10:38 am

"We will still have our library system if Measure N fails."

I wish that were true. If Measure N fails, within 1-2 years we will see our branches close. We will have to decide on whether to keep Mitchell or Main as our Central library, so one of them will close. And, we may have to turn over Children's library to private hands. This would end up costing us even more money than this bond because a single, centrtal library would cost upwards of $100M.

PLease vote Yes on N


Posted by Idries Shah, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:10 am

just reading the comments, and definitely voting yes on this measure. i love our library, and we sure need to fix the buildings!


Posted by Peter Oblomov, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:29 am

Idries, I agree with you, I will be voting yes.


Posted by Don Shafner, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Yes!


Posted by Betsy, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 16, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I second that. YES!


Posted by NO on N, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 17, 2008 at 9:30 am

yes, Yes, YES, I'll be voting NO.


Posted by Sad to say No, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:11 am

I just mailed my No.

Sad to do it, but money is tight and it just doesn't seem right to ask for so much money from those of us who purchased recently and so little from those who have been around for a long time.