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Council Declines Library Petition

Following nearly two hours of public comment and City Council deliberation, Council voted to decline the Library Petition.

Tonight, Monday, Arpil 2,  the Renton City Council approved the Administration’s recommendation to continue its current course of action regarding both the downtown Renton and Highlands libraries by a 4-3 vote.

Four Council members voted to decline to adopt the petition submitted by the Citizens for the preservation of the Cedar River Library were:

  • Terri Briere
  • Rich Zwicher
  • Don Persson
  • Ed Prince

Council members who voted to place the petition submitted by the Citizens for the preservation of the Cedar River Library on the ballot were:

  • Randy Corman
  • Marcie Palmer
  • Greg Taylor

Patch will post more details shortly.

Marsha Mello April 03, 2012 at 04:57 AM
I'm looking forward to the move. I don't feel safe going to the current location when it's dark outside. During the day it's beautiful inviting outside but ugly and grimmy inside, I can enjoy the outside beauty w/o the library.
Richard Bray April 03, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Tonight 4 members of the Renton City Council (Zwicker, Briere, Prince, Persson) rejected a certified citizens petition, ignored a packed council room filled with supporters to Save the Renton Library 90% of attendees and the Renton Reporter Poll of 76% of people who voted to Keep the Library If they thought they were representing residents wishes, they could have simply put the matter to a vote as three other council members (Taylor, Palmer, Corman) reasonably suggested and everything would have been settled in a couple months. Now there will be a likely lawsuit against the City for violation of citizen rights to petition their government and that will be costly to taxpayers. And the City will be fighting its own residents--the ones they work for! But an even greater damage has been done: the lost of trust of Renton residents in their local government. So sad. It didn't have to happen this way.
Reflex April 03, 2012 at 09:33 AM
I was there on an unrelated issue, and till now had no real opinion on the library issue. Being there I felt like it could go either way, but I felt that the council's position was intractable, and the library supporters unreasonable. Rock and a hard place. I did not like how set in stone many of the council members positions were, but I also did not like how many of the supporters misrepresented the situation and themselves(such as the fellow who claimed to be part of the decision making body but apparently only attended two meetings). I wish there was a more rational discussion of the topic. This certainly was not it.
Jenny Manning April 03, 2012 at 03:50 PM
An updated article has been posted here: http://patch.com/A-sh93
Nikki Robinson April 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
The gentleman you mentioned who initially attended the steering committee for the current library location, I would like to offer that It was to his credit that he was willing to keep an open mind despite his wish to keep the library in its current location. He was not allowed to clarify and complete his statement because of an aggresive intrusion by Mayor Law. I assume you were a part of the steering committee and are therefore in a postion to speak with authority - if not it is important for you to be informed that this committee was highkacked by various departments of the city with presentations, and were offered lists of possible options. The city overstepped its position by doing this as outlined in the guidelines for such a committee. Initially there were a large number of attendees, as time went by - when people realized this was just another city driven and dictated/manipulated process, most dropped out.
Nikki Robinson April 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I would like to know how recently you have walked downtown at night in the neighborhood of the parking garage, transit center and the prior site of the Big Five store? There are 9 million $ that could be made available to spend on getting rid of the grime that offends you. If you are ambulatory, you will not be challenged by the fact that most parking will be on the street or in the parking garage. Moving the library downtown - people with disabilities, women with young children and the elderly will be challenged by decreased ease of access. Would you consider giving some consideration for these folks?
Harley Harmon April 03, 2012 at 09:01 PM
One thing is certain based on the outcome of this rather stupid, biased, and unconstitutional activity of Mayor Law and his 4 henchmen, if the outcome is to deny a vote of the people, the only Renton library that I'll consider using is the one already inside my own house. I think Mayor Law should be investigated by the Federal Judicial System and if found to be guilty of manipulating the law for personal gain, be sentenced to hard labor in a Federal Prison.
Reflex April 03, 2012 at 09:19 PM
No, I was in the room on a completely unrelated minor issue. It was interesting to be at a council meeting for something fairly trivial and somehow end up waiting through hours of this. And I mean it was genuinely interesting, and I went back and forth through the testimony several times. My mind on the library issue is not made up(I've talked about this on allrenton.com for a few weeks now) but as I said before, tactics being used by both sides bother me quite a bit.
Dave Beedon April 04, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Some people at the city council meeting---including one or two of the council members---quoted or summarized the state law that requires the city to either adopt the idea put forth in the initiative or place it on a ballot for the city's residents to vote on. Apparently the law gives the city about two more weeks to take appropriate action, so there is still hope that reason will prevail and the city will let the residents vote on the issue. The defiant attitude exhibited by the mayor and four council members prompts me to become cynical and wonder if there a hidden agenda at work to benefit someone or some company. Are political favors being done? Who will lose---and what will they lose---if the voters decide to improve the present library rather than build a new one at the former Big 5 Sports site?

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