So reports Walnut Creek blogger, the DubC, in a very good post, updating the debate about Walnut Creek's new library. The DubC also conducted a poll which shows that residents would not favor a parcel tax to pay for the library. That's not surprising for several reasons. First and foremost, residents in this area are already being pressed to pay additonal or new parcel taxes for cash-strapped schools.
A city employee tells the DubC: "Every city employee I know is against this project and has been from the start. We have always felt the project was too large and too expensive. It is also clear that the impact of this project on city services has not been fully explained to the public." In this tough economy, the DubC's source says: "Streets, parks, police and other city services have been, and continue to be, seriously impacted by spending over 40 million dollars on this building."
Read more at the DubC.
More and more, I'm beginning to think that the city council and administrators are risking a loss of public confidence. And these are not times when we want to lose faith in our leaders. We're all facing tough times, very tough times, very scary times.
But we have city leaders, and they might be caught in a pre-September 2008 time warp. From what the DubC is reporting, the city may have seriously overextended itself with this library project and even mislead the public about its source of funds. Second, the city mishandled the whole Neiman Marcus development.
What will be next? In his January 26 state of the city address, Mayor Gary Skrel talked about how, historicaly, Walnut Creek's leadership has always made the right decisions at crucial moments. Big examples he cited were the decisions, first, to develop Broadway Plaza and later to reject a Sunvalley-type mall out off Ygnacio Valley, a project that could have killed Walnut Creek's downtown.
Okay, so Walnut Creek leaders have made good decisions in the past. But what about more recent history?