King County Councilmember Joe McDermott ‘Dismayed’ at Library Board
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter written by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott written to the Board of Trustees of the King County Library System, in response to KCLS’ apparent plans to close both the Boulevard Park and White Center libraries and consolidate them into a new, single branch:
To Board of Trustees, King County Library System:
I am dismayed that the King County Library System Board of Trustees would consider consolidation of the Boulevard Park and White Center Libraries at this time.
To the best of my knowledge, a formal proposal to have staff pursue plans for consolidation first became public on May 12. To think that the KCLS Board might take action on May 24, a mere 12 days later, at a meeting scheduled to be held far from North Highline – in North Bend – is extremely dismissive of my constituents. Further, it fails to recognize their hard work in advocating for their community’s needs.
While the timing issue itself is enough to delay the vote, there is also the issue of boundaries and service. For years KCLS has failed to replace and renovate these facilities despite their specific inclusion in the 2004 bond measure, citing uncertainty over annexation and proximity to what may become part of Seattle. With Seattle showing no initiative at this time and Burien having the potential to advance a vote as early as next spring, to take action based on potential annexation by Seattle is shortsighted at best.
I urge the King County Library System Board of Trustees to postpone any action that advances consolidation of the White Center and Boulevard Park Libraries. Further, I renew my call for KCLS to deliver on their 2004 promise to voters and take up replacement and expansion of the White Center Library.
King County Councilmember, District 8