The Lone Vote of Dissent

The Mercury News has a short article by the Times' Theresa Harrington about last night's vote on the library. Councilman Gary Skrel, right, was the lone vote against the resolution, arguing, according to Harrington's article, that the City needs to hammer out funding options up front and may need more parking for the future. ... Hopefully the rest of the council are acknowledging with their yes votes that new funding strategies have to be a lot better than Measure R. While we support a modest increase in parking fees (now some of the lowest in the greater Bay Area) if needed for the project, any new property tax measure is bound to fail worse than the last. No matter how much folks talk about 61 percent, No on R voters won that battle. ... Civic Park is simply not the place for a large parking garage for downtown businesses. A fair amount of people are still unhappy with any kind of expanded structure in the park, even if it's a library. ... To stave off a future parking crunch, the City must focus more on transit and on getting folks to park in the gargantuan Broadway Garage that's seldom more than half full (or tear it down - monstrous garages just don't work without attached retail or offices). ... The results of the November election show that the design is important, as is community outreach and compromise. It doesn't matter how long the City plans a library - if it goes to the ballot with a poor design or without reaching out to people it will fail. ... One of our aims here is to shine more light on the project as it goes forward. Perhaps Skrel will help drive a resolution on funding options, which should be cemented this summer. ...

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  • published this page in Blog 2006-03-01 00:58:00 -0500

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