Almost a month since election day and the truly unhappy news that the new library levy put forth by the Park and Recreation District had failed to reach the 60% of votes required by Washington law. Alas, I believe it was the only levy that failed in Whatcom County. On the other hand, it did NOT fail to achieve a majority+ of votes: over 55% of voters did vote to approve the levy which would have required an average property owner payment of $100 for one year in order to build a new library for Point Roberts. A library that would have served our community well for decades.
But, what's done is done. There are two ways forward: first, those of us at FOPRL could just say, "well, the voters have spoken and that's that." But I don't think that's going to happen because although the voters have voted, the majority of the voters also spoke; and the majority of people in Point Roberts spoke even earlier when FOPRL received many hundreds of individually-identified donations. FOPRL feels a deep commitment both to those who already donated over a half-million dollars to build a new library at the site of the Julius Firehall, to those who supported the levy, and to our own view of the community's real need for a new, centrally-located, larger, and appropriately outfitted library that will serve us and those who come after us well into the 21st Century.
At the moment, we are working on next steps forward. We have met with the Park and Recreation Commission and with Whatcom County Library System, our two partners in this project, to review the options for a plan to move this project forward as originally intended. It has a bunch of moving parts, but we hope to be able to get it finalized by January (given the demands of the holiday season). We will have to do some further fundraising, of course, but we have already received some encouraging offers of significant help. And we would be happy to receive more offers, of course! Just call me.
So, that's it for the moment, but stay tuned! The Board of the Friends of the Point Roberts Library, and especially Ed and I personally, extend our great thanks for all you have done for this project over the last 5 years. We look forward to completing this new library which will mean so much to us all when it is finished, and mean even more perhaps because it has been a challenge that we will have overcome together. A library is a community treasure and we believe we will have that renewed treasure, soon.
President, Friends of the Point Roberts Library