Not everyone does that, you know. Don't tell me you don't know this. Certainly you must know it's true.
But at least you now have a chance to get yourself a book marker. Which is what the object just to the left is. Somebody snapped a picture of one with their cell phone yesterday and sent it my way. Apparently you can get one at the Library and other popular downtown locations should you feel the burning need to own such a piece of Sierra Madre memorabilia.
What is odd about this book marker, however, is there is no notice of where it came from, or who made it. Was it printed by the city? Produced by the "Friends of the Library?" It is a well done and rather glossy item I've been told. I know I didn't do it. Did you? It is an anonymous book marker, I guess. A helpful reminder from your best unknown friend, who cares.
Yesterday someone left a comment on this blog about the possibility of the deeply nuanced Library Survey Postcard being supplemented by the more decisive option of a ballot question next April. I thought it was a good observation and forwarded it to Sierra Madre's communicative City Manager. Here is how that all went.
The Tattler: Gabe: What do you think?
Gabe Engeland: The City Council discussed the benefits of putting the Library question on the ballot or releasing a survey at an October Council Meeting. The determination was made that a ballot question, which can only be answered “yes/no” and is limited to 75 words, would not provide as much information as a survey which goes to every household. The survey results will inform Council’s next steps. There are many possible outcomes to this and the question still could end up on a future ballot.
Gabe Engeland: The $100,000 from the Friends was for items associated with a potential move. To date we are only working with one contractor who is doing a space analysis of the Community Center to show what a joint operation with the City (Library and Community Services) and YMCA would look like. The total contract is $9,600. We anticipate getting the results back early next year and will include them in an upcoming Library forum.
The Tattler: What is the deadline for getting a question on April's ballot?
Gabe Engeland: I’m not sure what the deadline is actually. Laura, do you know?
Laura Aguilar: Good afternoon, Mr. Crawford. The deadline to add a ballot measure to the April 10, 2018 General Municipal Election is 5:30 pm on January 12, 2018.
Gabe Engeland: One more item. I do not believe there is any chance for this to be on the upcoming election. I could see scenarios down the road, but not for 2018.
The Tattler: Wouldn't anything later than April be after the fact?
Gabe Engeland: It would depend on the results of the survey. Imagine if the results are 50% move, 50% stay (I know that is oversimplified), but in that scenario Council may seek additional information. I don't think a ballot measure in the future is likely, I just don't want to definitively rule out options, even if they are remote, until the survey is returned. It's hard to speculate on the possible scenarios in the future. 3 months ago I would have said a survey of every household in Sierra Madre was unlikely. Sorry for the confusion.
The Tattler: I think one problem some have with the ballot option is the results aren't open to interpretation.
Gabe Engeland: I don't think that's true. The Council had a good discussion on this topic in October and they were correct, in my opinion, that a ballot measure would not do a good job of answering a question when there are multiple options/preferences if you can only answer yes/no. What option do you answer if you want to sell the back lot to finance repairs at the current location? Or what if you want to sell the library, but not to move it to the community center, but rather because your opinion is services should be reduced? The survey will provide greater data, that is more in-depth, and help Council to understand the direction the community would like to go.
OK. One thing leads to another, as they say.
So here are the two revelatory take aways from this exchange as I see them.
1) Putting the Library move question on the ballot isn't really a possibility at this point. If anything, the survey postcard option was selected to avoid having to do that.
2) You are not going to know what the costs associated with moving the Library are going to be before you answer your survey postcard. Which makes the tax increase remark included in a survey question there associated with keeping the Library where it is even more problematic.