Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sierra Madre Library Survey Says: Don't Move It!

Hands off.
Mod: At Tuesday evening's City Council meeting the moment we have all been waiting for will finally arrive. Those much discussed Library survey postcards have now been tabulated, the numbers examined from all of the possible angles by highly compensated statistical experts from Colorado, and with great assurance and exactitude the final results determined. And do you know what? Its just like we have been saying all along. Most folks do not want to see the Sierra Madre Public Library moved next to the community swimming pool.

If you head on over to the City of Sierra Madre website and spend a little quality time with Agenda Item #3 (link), you will be able to witness for yourself what it is you get from the National Research Center for your $18,000.

However, if you have a busy schedule, or would just prefer to spend your Sunday afternoon in front of the TV cursing out the Dodgers like I plan on doing, here it is in the briefest of all possible ways.


They go on for quite a while with their results, but that is pretty much all of it. Just fix the place, put in a few cement ramps so that the ADA people are happy, widen the aisles a little, and forget about it. That whole "21st Century Library" pitch was always an oxymoron, you know. You want to go stare at your laptop, go to Starbucks

It's about books. Things are supposed to be old, dusty and weird. That is the way libraries have been for centuries. It never should have even gotten to this point.

What I would like to know is this. Whatever happened to the $100,000 those highly earnest Friends of the Library people were going to spend on their feasibility study for moving the Library? Now that the issue of moving all of those books poolside is pretty much dead in the chlorinated water, or at least it damn well better be, did they actually go spend all of that money in so rash and needless a manner?

That money took a lot of serious wine drinking and brie eating by very dedicated residents to raise, you know. The Friends owe it to the battered livers of Sierra Madre. Let the people know.

Speaking of raising taxes 

Also on the schedule for Tuesday evening is yet another water rate hike. Or, for the more polite out there, a water rate adjustment. 

As we have been saying for the last decade or so here at The Tattler, every two years there will either be a water rate increase or a tax hike of some sort. You can set your clocks by it. That is just how City Hall likes to work. And it is always the last one they'll ever need, you know.

Of course it is. More on this tomorrow.

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58 comments:

  1. The Dodgers won a double header yesterday.

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    1. It's a trick designed to sucker you in.

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  2. Forget the $100,000 from the Friends of the Library, that group raised their glasses and raised the money. I want to know exactly what the $800,000 plus spent every year after year, has accomplished for the residents of town?

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    1. That pays for the two full time employees

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  3. Will the city put the ADA compliance requirements up for bid so everyone can compete for the work? Or will it be limited to a few godawful expensive companies. Cement access ramps shouldn't be that expensive.

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    1. Must be union workers. Ca Ching

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    2. Always about the money. Rates and taxes going up!

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    3. It is never enough.

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  4. Is it my imagination, or is there always a rate or tax increase after an election?

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    1. Good point. It explains the two year cycles.

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    2. You see, there is a question we always forget to ask during election campaigns. "Do you anticipate the need to raise taxes or water rates in the near future?" I must make a note to myself to ask that one next time.

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  5. The library survey results are worth flipping over. That is, if you're a City Council candidate who at first strongly backed selling the library.

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    1. Do you think Bencosme was given an early look at these numbers?

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    2. Someone persuaded him that his original position was an election-losing one, so yeah. There had to be a leak. Or he could issue an explanation for why he reversed his choice.

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    3. He said nothing when he was running. Why would he talk now?

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  6. For the first time that I can remember Sierra Madre has a City Council where all 5 members are termed out. None will have to face the voters again. They're pretty much free to do whatever they like.

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    1. This has to happen on a fairly regular cycle and would only not be the case if someone decided to not run for reelection at the end of their first term or quite mid-term and the appointeed decide not to run for reelection. I was once asked to run for CC and I said "NO, I could not be all things to all people" to which it was explained to me that you only had to do that if you wanted to get reelected!!!!

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  7. California needs to dump the "bullet" train. Spend the $$$ on water programs. Too much water runs off into the ocean. Fill the water table under Arcadia and Sierra Madre.

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  8. Does Sierra Madre have any plans to retain its rain water runoff? If we are now importing 50% of our water from the ripoff water district, maybe we should retain the water that falls for free from the sky?

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  9. The city continues paying off Goldberg Park, why not trade greenspace?
    The cleared Library lot for the full market value residential Goldberg lot?
    That would pay for the ADA up grades for the Library.

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    1. Problem in selling Goldberg Park...wasn't it bought with monies taken from selling part of the main park to the Nursery School for them to "own" the area behind their building they had been using as garden? Does parkland paid for by selling other parkland have to stay as parkland?

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    2. I thought the Goldberg Park was a gift to the city and we only pay to maintain it

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    3. It was a gift to the Goldbergs. They unloaded a scruffy old lot, in exchange they got the money from the sale of the nursery school.

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  10. Maybe the water rates are going up again to pay for the new nearly $1 million dollar smart meters?

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  11. No matter what don't sell the back lot or any city land. There will certainly come a time in the future when we will need the land for something we can not yet envision.

    If we sell the back lot we will never be able to buy a replacement.

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    1. Right. Not making any new land.

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  12. The back lot could be used for parking if the library, at its Current location is expanded into the Current parking area (should the city get grants for such an expansion) or if the trending use of the information source in your iPhone renders libraries more and more obsolete, then you won't need parking, you won't need a library. I like the idea of a library in a building sort of way--gathering places for books and people--but I do a lot of research from my easy chair in jeans and a t-shirt (not pjs) on my lap top, from where I am writing this now as we "speak."

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    1. 808.042 Strunk

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    2. They're dying to sell something.

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    3. "...if the trending use of the information source in you iPhone renders libraries more and more obsolete..."
      If?
      Part of the problem in dealing effectively and efficiently with the library is the refusal of residents to recognize that physical libraries are casualties of the technological revolution. They are nice to have, but completely unnecessary. City hall wants to keep pouring money into a dead institution.

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  13. 10:54am I don't see why not. The Fire Department used all the original funding many years ago.

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  14. 10:25am. Too late, the land where the Nursery School sits, not just the back garden, was sold.
    The reason, the Council felt bad that the Nursery School had to continue to pay rent to the city!

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  15. So who told Andy Bencosme?
    How did he know to engineer that spectacular flip-flop, in time for a mailer?

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    1. That is the mystery. He knew that the Library move had failed the survey. But how he did is unknown.

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    2. As Chair of the Community Services Commission, the library move was right in the middle of his plate. I don't think it takes too much imagination to see how he could have gotten to know the people at the National Research Center.

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  16. 10:46am I am not "speaking" but rather hunt & peck on the keyboard.
    Obsolete, but still necessary as a Community gathering and cooling room on hot days, a quiet place for a days reflection.
    No expansion. The back lot at one time had a storage building, that was torn down to make way for expansion, over thirty years ago.
    Grants are obsolete in California

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    1. Not a storage building but a small home that the city rented out. When it needed expenditure for normal repairs the CC at the time decided to tear it down. Been empty for a good number of years.

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  17. 54%, would have guessed over 85%, guess that shows what circles I've been walking in. February 13th I gave a 27 page report to the city council, with there suggestion I gave the same report to the Library Board with an 8 page cover letter. With an invite from the Kiwanis I spoke there also. The last group I spoke to was the Friends Of The Library. While at that meeting I felt the warmth and caring those people really had for our Library. The information given to each of these groups was how we as a community could have a Library that was brought into the 21st century without raising taxes or selling off the back lot. It is true that young and old alike are using computers and cell phones for just about every thing and don't use the Library like we use to. Sierra Madre has a chance to not only save and preserve our Library but to have most of the costs covered up front and the rest paid off by services that the new Library could provide. Think of a Library with Virtual Reality Rooms, a Germ Free building, a Digitizing room to copy important documents or reproduce any book ever published with royalties going to the author and a printing fee to the Library. The list goes on and on with what our Library could be and how to pay for it. There are over 15 copies of that info printed and given to the Council and Library Board. If anyone is interested in reading that report ask them first. As a community oriented City, lets have the Best Little Library around.

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    1. Regarding 54%, would have guessed over 85%:
      Keep in mind out of the 4910 surveys sent, only 1770 responded. A 37% response rate! Sad to see such a low participation rate.

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    2. It is actually 59% that oppose moving the library.

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    3. Same old mantra....What’s it gonna take to get residents off their bottoms and respond to a survey?

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    4. Thank you Mr. Hood! Actually we need both technology and original print. Hard copy of well written picture books are the soul of our community in order to survive the tough time coming soon.

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  18. There is a lot of interest in a traditional library acknowledging that the 22nd Century is unknown be we could at least limp into the 21st one while we twiddle our thumbs. Gary Hood has presented a multitude of ideas, now we need a City Council and Library Board and all the Friends to get started. Need to start somewhere.

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    1. I would hope that a library, no matter what the century, would be about books. Not lights on a screen.

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    2. And I would rather have a horse and buggy than a car, but the world changed the way I didn't want anyway.

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    3. Do you think computers are an improvement on books?

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  19. 10:07am. California needed to not elect Jerry Brown, damage done, the bullet train to no where was only political promises to put money into the lobbyists pockets.

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    1. Bullet train achieved by popular vote, not governor.

      You keep forgetting that.

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  20. Kudos to Mr. Hood.
    It is refreshing to have representation from the community on new and innovative ways and solutions moving forward.
    I admit I am a killjoy, Sierra Madre operates and manages from old school.
    What other city would spend funding for the Arts on picnic tables and a pergola?
    The Friends of the Library have been more involved than any of the Library Board members who are guilty of mismanagement and poor direction, the Library Board members have been in their own virtual reality for many years.

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    1. Is Rob Stockly still on the Library Board? The guy who helped destroy the hillsides at One Carter was working his magic on the library.

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  21. It is too bad that a water rate increase is on Tuesday's meeting agenda. A complete and focused meeting on the library would have been refreshing. Now it is just an item to get through on the way to more money.

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  22. Water rate increases for the City of Sierra Madre, back by popular vote!

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  23. Dodgers? I thought you're a New Yorker.

    Let's Go Mets!

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    1. My mom is from Brooklyn. Of course, she never forgave them for leaving.

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  24. Mod, you were a bit Trumpian on this one. The postcard questions will be rigged! Wait, we won? The people have spoken!

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    1. I think the FBI was spying on people.

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