When I read the article regarding the impasse between the Walla Walla County Rural Library Board and the Walla Walla City Council I was incredulous. In this economy, we cannot afford the expensive and unnecessary redundancy of a new county library in the near vicinity of a wonderful existing city library.
It would be easy to lay the blame at the feet of the RLB, but this is about the inability of the RLB and the City Council to come to an agreement to extend their existing contract to fund the city library.
While this is a very complicated and difficult task, it is imperative that every avenue is explored to make this happen.
There are constant demands on tax dollars for city services, including street repair, improvements to the water system, etc. The people of Walla Walla have been extremely supportive of school levies and responded positively for requests for new buildings for the fire and police departments.
Citizens are trying to come to an agreement regarding a place for children to swim. If funding is needed to keep the city library functioning due to the county pulling its funding, people will be very angry and frustrated.
Building a new county library will be just the beginning of the expenses associated with it. I can well imagine that county residents would soon be asked to come up with more money to keep up such a facility, provide staffing, etc.
I have been very satisfied as a county resident to have access to the city library, for which a portion of the county library tax I pay is used. I would like to see this system continue. I do not support the plan to build a new county library.
I wonder what the residents of Burbank, Prescott and Waitsburg think of Walla Walla getting a new library when we already have a perfectly good one now? This plan seems so unfair to the rest of the county.
I sincerely hope the Rural Library Board and City Council can go back to the drawing board and come up with an agreement that works for everyone. We need to solve this problem for the citizens of the city and the county.