Old tricks for a new library

Well, I hate to drag out an old word like “boondoggle” to describe the Walnut Creek City Council’s plans for a giant new parking garage in Civic Park (oh, yeah, they’ll be tacking on a library too). “Boondoggle,” though, suits the tale. … The Contra Costa Times tells the story well (sorry, they want registration for a peek at their online stories). City voters, thanks to the Council’s wisdom, will be asked in November to pay a staggering $21 million – a heck of a lot more if you talk about debt – in general obligation bonds over the next 30 years. The payoff? A bigger library that serves as a trojan horse for putting Olympia Place-style retail stores in the park at the corner of Lincoln and Broadway. And that’s not all the big wooden mule will be carrying inside: plans also call for a FIVE-STORY parking garage. A couple floors of the garage might go underground if voters OK every last cent the City wants over next several years. Talk about holding a gun to our heads. … How about no parking garage, half the cost, and stepped up public transit to reach a new and improved library? Or a garage over retail in the commercial district at Lincoln and Main? … How about getting off this one-way track while Civic Park’s still whole. …

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