Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Citizens for Cedar River Library Campaign Celebration; Cedar Library Location Wins in a Landslide

Hi Neighbors,

Thank you voters and supporters for voting to make Renton's downtown library state of the art over the Cedar River! I'm excited to modernize and share our history with future generations at this iconic location. Enjoy this pixel-roll of our campaign results celebration party hosted by Citizens for Cedar River Library:

Campaign supporters, volunteers, and celebration participants (above)
Photo by James Rosko post-production Dena Rosko
Notice that former Mayor Don Custer, recipient of the George W. and Annie Custer Heritage Citizenship Award for his balanced leadership during Renton's Centennial Celebration, visited and shared his history and enthusiasm with the Cedar River Library. Seen here with Campaign Lead Stuart Avery and Renton resident and councilperson Randy Corman:

The library's iconic design and location at Cedar River and Liberty Park overlaps learning, environment, recreation, and play. Renton River Days also utilizes this location. Here we celebrate our city's win:

Waiting for results (above)
Phones begin to ring... (above)
Primary initial results: 76.13% voters vote for
Cedar River library location (above)
Me posting images and updates to social media;
Photo by James Rosko (above)
I volunteered with the Citizens for the Cedar River Library because I value participatory governance and learning with play. Before the ballot, I volunteered with the then petition group Citizens for the Preservation of Renton's Cedar River Library to put the library location to ballot because I believe that residents must be able to influence expenditures important to them, and engage in developing their Public Commons. I hold that government must collaborate with its constituents in kind. I also love to develop grassroots and public efforts.


Moving forward, KCLS must be accountable to its tax-base, in this case municipal tax payers, as most of KCLS funds come from our property tax. I recommend that the KCLS director and board, currently appointed by King County Executive, be changed to elected positions with term limits to localize oversight, or so that KCLS, as an agency with tax-levying authority, must heed its tax-base. This change may also equalize footing with elected municipal leaders in drafting these "interlocal" contracts and to be accountable to clear mandates from voters. Otherwise, residents in other cities will be further removed from the top-down decisions of a centralized agency that directly impact their finances, public commons infrastructure, and sense of community and local history. Agree? Contact KC Executive.

If I may editorialize, it's important to participate with governance decisions especially those that impact taxation and public/community infrastructure. It's encouraging that grassroots efforts, the heart of democracy, led to the library location being put to public binding vote. It's imperative that KCLS, city council, and city legal team work together to make the ballot outcome for KCLS to provide a "state of the art" library at Cedar River per Proposition 1. I applaud my city as history lives here and we're ahead of the curve since citizens have engaged in democratic process to influence their public icon. So thank you Renton for putting the library location to vote! We can be proud that we localized an iconic municipal decision.

I'll step off my soapbox for a spell to rejoin the party. Thank you for listening. Now enjoy last night's sunset:

Renton can be proud of its residents and citizens engagement with democratically developing our public commons. Each person collaborating together matters! Now who's up for I Love Renton and Renton on Reddit?

Celebration flowers (above)
Access available and library relevant documents. Follow my Public Commons' board on Pinterest. Connect with Citizens for the Cedar River Library on Facebook. Check out Randy Corman's blog for details on cost and more. Read media coverage of results via Renton KOMO, Renton Patch, and Renton Reporter (here and here).

Thank you again supporters, participants, voters, and volunteers!

Celebrating Success,
Reaching Out, and
Seeing it through,