Invisible committments and “You didn’t give us a chance to vote because you knew we would say ‘No'”

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A few hours every weekend my friends and I stand on Mayfield Road in front of  the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Public Library holding up signs protesting the possible sale of the Library.

People walking by talk with us and sometimes ask us, as we ask ourselves, does our demonstrating really do any good ? Are we wasting our time and inhaling all that exhaust for nothing?

The South Euclid-Lyndhurst Public Library has been in the Telling Mansion for 60 years. Telling Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an Ohio Landmark.

 

The Library Board wants to sell Telling Mansion for $755,000 to a private individual; it cost $700,000 to build in 1930, so you can imagine how beautiful it is.

This transfer of public wealth into private hands is unjustified. Library consultants reported that renovating Telling Mansion will cost $5 million; building a new Library will cost $12.6 million.

Library Board knew from surveys in 2005 and 2007 that many Cuyahoga County voters would not vote in favor of a levy to build new buildings. So the Board chose to bypass the ballot box and issued $75 million in notes instead; interest on these notes is $100 million.

Now, without a single vote, all Cuyahoga County residents are saddled with $175 million in debt.

This past weekend I spoke with a woman, let’s call her Christine, who really got it.

Christine said it better than I ever have:

“I am tired of these invisible commitments.

I would like to tell the Board, ‘You didn’t give us a chance to vote because you knew we would say ‘No’ .”

 

 

 

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