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When the new Buena Vista Branch Library...

When the new Buena Vista Branch Library opened to rave reviews in

December, it set some people to thinking that if one new facility is

good, two more would be even better.

They’re right.


Measure L will help the city get two new libraries, with the state

footing two-thirds of the expected $38-million bill. To cover the

city’s part, the initiative would levy a tax on residents and other

property owners, charging $1 per $100,000 of assessed value -- so


most people will pay about $3 a month for two state-of-the art

libraries in the city.

Some of the features at the new facilities can’t even be called

“high-tech” -- the Central Library has a severe parking shortage that

would be solved with a new building, and it would finally be able to

comply with disabled access standards. Central, as well as the

Northwest Branch, could have enough space to present more children’s

reading programs and study centers for teens, as well as more


services for seniors.

Fortunately, the city has the land on which to build a new Central

Library and renovate the Northwest Branch, and can include the value

of those properties in its share of the fund-raising. But the city

has to move now on the state’s offer -- there are only three

application periods for the state grants, and the second deadline is

rapidly approaching. The state money soon will be gone, with

residents left to foot the entire bill.


To ensure residents’ money is being collected and distributed

responsibly, a citizens’ oversight committee will oversee the

project. The measure, which is on the ballot Tuesday, goes into

effect only if the city receives state funds.

Measure L isn’t just about improving two of the city’s libraries

-- it’s about improving the city itself. Vote “yes” on it.