Few would argue the fact that El Cerrito needs a library. The requirement that the present library be relocated from its current location generates the required construction of a new library.
However, some El Cerrito residents question the $30 million bond anticipated for construction of the new El Cerrito Library. El Cerrito has one of the highest tax rates in the state, increasing disquiet over added tax the bond will demand.
Some concerned residents assert avoidance by elected officials. In the view of these constituents, rather than examine voter misgivings about the library construction bond amount, elected officials are pursuing a lowered vote threshold for bond passage. In March, 2017 Senator Bill Dodd introduced Amendment 3 (SCA 3) (draft copy shown) that recommends lowering the vote requirement from 2/3rds to 55%.
Some residents also wonder about the extent of detailed research into the proposal, the viability of project plans, and the proposed manner of implementation.
One reason for the bond amount may be that federal funds to offset costs are no longer assured. In addition, there are apparent profits to be made in passing the bond, with increased marketing support and influencer promotion. Elected officials undoubtedly see the benefits. The question is whether anticipated promotional support could lower proposed construction costs with relief to taxpayers.
One certain consideration for passing the El Cerrito Library construction bond is voter support. While residents who support the bond remind property owners of Proposition 13 property tax protections, the growing citizen concern suggests that elected officials should lend an ear to what those questioning the cost are saying.
Resident Feedback taken from El Cerrito Nextdoor.