Wednesday, April 17, 2013

City Council Meeting March 19, 2013

The following is the text of the speech which Deborah Marks gave before the City Council during Public Comments.  Michael Goldman followed with more examples of libraries with additions.  To see both presentations just google "Sunnyvale City Council Meetings Video" and go to "Watch Council Meetings Online."  Our presentations are about 10 minutes into the start of the meeting.

City Council Meeting                                                                March 19, 2013
My name is Deborah Marks and I’m with the group Citizens for Sunnyvale Parks and Green Spaces.  I have spoken to the council before about the future of the civic center….as it is now and as it would be if the public/private partnership concept of July 31st, 2012, were to go through.


As it would be....

After having talked to many people and having seen the buildings at the civic center, I would like to suggest the following.

We know that the city doesn’t have the money to build two or three new buildings.  We know that the bond measure for $108 million for a new library did not get the 2/3’s majority it needed in 2007.

We know that the buildings…city hall and the library….are capable of being repaired or added onto.   In both cases this could be done and provide more space for the library patrons and city employees at a comparably lower cost to the city than new buildings.  This cost comparison was done in a feasibility study for the city in 2002/2003.  A branch library is being considered at the Lakewood Park Site which could help to solve the space dilemma at the main library.  An example of a attractive addition to a library can be seen here in Schenectady, New York.  It illustrates a combination of the new with the old.  It is an addition of 6700 sq. ft.  for a children’s area and for technology services.


Schenectady, New York

The immediate problem seems to be with the Office Center on the north side of Olive Ave…. between the library and Union Bank… and the South Annex behind City Hall.  They are in dire need of repair.  A new building could be built at the site of the Office Center to replace both.  If it were two stories high but in keeping with the style of the older buildings, it would fit into the setting and provide more space.  An example of such a building would be the Packard Foundation in Los Altos.  Perhaps this could be the new city hall and the old city hall could be used for the overflow at the Public Safety Building.  The construction could be financed in other ways than selling or leasing the city’s land.

Packard Foundation, Los Alto, CA

Money could then be set aside for additional new buildings in the future.  As I understand this will be considered at a study session to create an ordinance to set aside amounts of funds for large city infrastructure projects. 

Just as home owners have to budget and save for future projects in the upkeep of their homes, the city must put aside money for repairs and construction.  Renovating and building at the civic center can be done in phases and, that way, ensure that the civic center site will be maintained for future generations.

Posted on April 17, 2013 by Deborah Marks