Renton City Council to seek public input on library siting
By TRACEY COMPTON
Renton Reporter Staff writer
May 17, 2011 · Updated 11:43 AM
The Renton City Council Monday night decided not to move forward with issuing 10-year bonds to build two new Renton libraries until after it gets more public input on the matter.
Mayor Denis Law at the meeting cited the recent shooting at the proposed downtown library site at the Big 5 sporting good store and council member absences from upcoming meetings as reasons to delay any decision.
Law said the issue is critical enough to demand the entire council's attention and he didn't see any problem with delaying further discussion.
The bond measure was referred to the Committee of the Whole by Terri Briere, council president, until the entire council is available to discuss it.
The council at its May 9 meeting had taken its first vote to move forward with the sale of the $18 million in bonds. It was scheduled to take a final vote on Monday night, before Law last week suggested it consider delaying the vote.
At Monday night's meeting council members touched on how they might engage the public.
Council members Greg Taylor and Randy Corman both thought it was important to find a way to engage the public in the discussion, whether through a task force or a survey by telephone or on the internet.
Briere suggested that each council member talk to constituents; she said that a survey may not help if people are answering based on some of the misinformation that they have currently.
Council member Don Persson agreed there was confusion on what the options are and that some people have misunderstood the issues. He suggested the idea of having a public forum.
All the council members seemed to agree the public needs to be included in some way as discussions go forward. How that might happen was put off until the entire council could weigh in.
Comments from the audience drew some familiar faces restating their concern with plans to move the current library to a new location at the Big 5 site on Third Avenue. Some audience commenters expressed gratitude for the council's decision to be more inclusive in its decision making.
City Council won't discuss library plans for the next couple of meetings due to council member absences.Contact Renton Reporter Staff writer Tracey Compton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-255-3484, ext. 5052.