Renton, Washington residents will attempt to gather additional signatures to petition for an initiative or referendum to keep the Renton's Cedar River Library open, rather than close the building and move the library to a yet to be built, less desirable location. The group, Citizens for the Preservation of Renton's Cedar River Library had collected over 6375 signatures, but city officials ruled 1400 invalid.
The group is organizing volunteers for another signing campaign scheduled for Saturday March 10th. The signatures must be submitted for certification March 12. The library keeps a countdown on its website of remaining signatures necessary. The count at the time of this writing was 1323.
The library is built straddling the Cedar River. It was designed by architect Felex Campanella and completed in 1967, and paid for through a bond initiative. The Renton library system has been merged into the county system recently, and the county is closing the town's two libraries and replacing both with a downtown library. City voters turned down a proposition for a tax levy in 2011 to support funding the continuity of library services following the merger with the county library system.
The Economic Opportunity Institute has documented numerous tax exemptions and reductions passed by the State of Washington since the 1990's that reduced state revenue by $13 billion and local revenues by $3 billion over a two year period, 2009 through 2011. High tech and aerospace businesses were among the primary beneficiaries. Microsoft Corporation, the state's most famous high tech business, was one of eleven large U.S. companies whom a 2011 study shown had cut U.S. workforces by 2.9 million over the previous decade while outsourcing 2.4 million jobs. Boeing, the state's best known aerospace business, came under heavy criticism recently for outsourcing much of its 787 Dreamliner project, even, it was pointed out, to an overseas partner that had not yet created an Engineering Department at the time of the decision to outsource.
Prior to the merger with the County library system, the City of Renton funded its four libraries at a cost of approximately $2 million each year.
This article originally appeared at scribillare.com .