Make our empty facilities bigger
The latest item of election porn to show up at Blog Central comes from the people pushing a new Multnomah County Library bond and accompanying property tax increase:
There are two additional pages – it's on 11-by-17-inch glossy paper – but you get the picture.
They're asking for $387 million, all of it to be spent on real estate and remodeling of library branches.
It's a heck of a time to be asking for money. People are broke.
And big bucks for real estate and remodeling? Right now most of the library branches are closed. People are learning to make do without a physical library. Is this the right time to go big on bricks and mortar? Shouldn't we wait until we have a year or two of post-pandemic operations under our belts before we start building new facilities?
There's a lot of talk by the supporters about high-speed internet for poor people. I guess the bond is supposed to put more wi-fi in the branches. But $387 million works out to $1,200 per household in the county. That much dough could put high-speed internet in many homes. And that's where it's needed.
In any event, it's an especially outrageous time to be asking for money from my neighborhood. Just a few months ago, they closed our much beloved and heavily used branch library for good, and moved everything out.
The library suits bad-mouthed the space as too small, and they complained that the rent was too high. And so their answer was to shut it down.
I can't imagine the voters rejecting Measure 26-211, but it doesn't have my support. Sorry, but I'm a no on this one.