Feedback: Bigger library, better location
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:14 PM
Those who truly wanted a new, expanded Oak Harbor Library would have had the enthusiastic support of most of the opponents, if the new library site had been on the city property near the Senior Center.
Twice within five years a new library bond issue has been defeated simply because the City Council used its influence to try to force the library into the silly, unsuitable lot on East Pioneer Way. That lot has been for sale since I moved here 10 years ago. No one else wants it. If the just defeated bond issue had passed, the owner (s) of the lot would have received $100,000 more than the most recent asking price of the lot.
I cant help but think that there is more than a whiff of corruption in the City Councils fixation on that lot. Was the City Council simply looking for a free parking structure that would be built by anybody on that site? Lets see - the Whidbey News-Times has investigative reporters. Maybe they know the answers. Or could find out.
All the stores on East Pioneer Way put together yield less than 1 percent of the sales tax collected in Oak Harbor. All the stores on East Pioneer Way pay less than 1 percent of the wages paid to store employees in Oak Harbor.
East Pioneer Way is not a retail center, nor is it the center of Oak Harbor. Certainly not for the last 20 years. Its a place to find excellent restaurants, an excellent dress shop, offices and shabby failing shops.
Lets build a new library on land near the Senior Center bigger than the one proposed in the recent bond issue, with more parking area, for less money. Do I hear anything from the recent opponents to the just defeated bond issue or anything from the recent supporters?