Unified library district needed

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As a mother of two small children, the Walla Walla Public Library is very important to our family. We are county residents and will soon face losing access to the city library.

The Rural Library District Board of Trustees and the Walla Walla City Council need to pass resolutions to have the creation of a unified library district on the ballot! This needs to happen before any property is purchased or leased for a new Rural Library District library building!

The RLD’s plans to build a new building should be advertised and a public meeting should be held solely dedicated to discussing this issue. I attended the last RLD public meeting and was disappointed to see how the meeting ended. All public comments shared were against building a library. At the end of the meeting an elderly woman stood up and asked if the trustees would hold a survey asking RLD residents if they wanted a new library building. The answer was, “No. We are done.”

It is time to forget about past frustrations and failed contract negotiations and look at this logically. I urge the Rural Library Board of Trustees to please hold a public hearing on the issue of building or leasing a new library and give two weeks notice for people to plan to attend.

Amanda Hammond

Walla Walla

Comments

JustWondering 2 years, 3 months ago

I also attended the LUC meeting and came away with a differrent impression. There appeared to be @ 8 active LUC members actively engaged in blocking the building of a new RLD facility ( to combine administrative, technical and collection space now being leased). Most people were silent andlooking a bit bewilderd as to what petitions and resolutions had to do with being able to use the WWPL another year. No vote was taken on anything nor have votes ever been taken at LUC meetings. Core members meet separatly and decide actions. There does seem to be general support for annexation as the answer to the WWPL's budget woes. Plans for a new District facility is not the real issue holding up annexation discussions going anywhere.

The City has never discussed putting together an ordinance stating intent to join the library district. In fact, this year it has stated it will not consider annexation if the District continues its plan to build. (last year the excuse was Plaza Way, the year before it was WALNET). Since the District can afford to build and contract with the City for annexation - it is unclear to me why this building effort is perceived as a roadblock to any future Annexation Agreement. The Annexation Agreement is the document that works out what the new District will look like. It is developed after the acceptance of the ordinance of the RLD and before a vote.

The Council too has refused to answer questions or respond to citizen input regarding this issue. The LUC met with the City several times and none of its recommendations (on green sheet passed out at LUC meeting) were met.

Yes the residents of 4 & 8 should have better and stable library service closer to where they live. However, working with the City to destroy the Rural Library District and gain access to the building fund is counter productive. The District may be amenable to a rational discussion of ideas for how it can better serve those people who prefer to use the WWPL. It is right not to respond to threats, ridicule and accusations.

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