Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bond's Strange Attitude Towards the Library

Deputy Mayor and longtime councilman Jim Bond has had some strange curmudgeon quotes about the library lately. (The library opened in 1966, closed in May 2004 and was torn down a year ago.)

In casting his vote, Councilman James Bond told his colleagues he knew all along the price would be high and warned that technology could forever change libraries.

"We all want something, but when it comes to our billfold, it's a little bit difficult," he said. "The information age is going to affect us all. We need our community and staff to come to grips with that."

January 18 NCT

So, I think he likes the library...or no?

"I don't think we should change the design ... one iota", he said.

Bond said that in the future, he thinks technology will obsolete many functions of libraries, so it was important to have amenities such as the large deck.

"The library needs to transition to a really neat place to hang out."

Coast News Jan. 20

And then there is this from the SDUT Fe. 18

"(The library) is not at the top of my priority list, but it is for the rest of the council", Bond said. "There's a lot of emotion around it. If we are determined to build it, we should do it before the construction price goes up again."

"The library is, frankly, going to be a brand new dinosaur", Bond said. "In 10 years, nobody will be making a trip to the library to get a book. We will be looking at a Palm Pilot or a computer at home."

Bond just kills me on this last quote, he sounds like a clueless bitter old grump.

Look man, if you truly are the old wise sage you like to come off as then why did you let the original library get torn down? The original library may have been old and funky but at least we had one. We haven't had a library for over ten years (no, the Barnes&Noble in the Ecke shopping center does not count).

10 years ago people were predicting that the internet would kill all books, movies, television shows and even leaving your home. Nonsense! Bond says he wants baseball fields at the Hall park property. I could use the argument that in 10 years kids will be so fat from staying inside playing video games that the ball fields will be empty. (god forbid)

Trust me, I use the internet everyday and I still go to libraries.

Not everyone owns or can afford to buy a computer, even here in Yuppie Town U.S.A. Libraries provide computers and internet access. (If you want you can use the library computer to look up a book on the internet, that would be funny).

Students NEED libraries. Universities only allow two internet sources to be resourced for term papers.
Not every book in the world is available on the internet, especially for free. Google claims it is going to scan every book published but that is an incredibly lofty project and who knows how that will pan out. Google Book Search

The library isn't just a place to go and check out a novel to read. The library is not freaking Blockbuster video. It's a quiet place to do homework or even do your job. I have a neighbor who usually works at home but due to construction noise from a nearby remodel she has been taking her laptop to the Carlsbad library. Wouldn't it be nice if she could have gone to the Encinitas library?

Bond is right about the deck being a meeting place, so he is at least showing some imagination there. But he doesn't seem to understand the depth and resources a good library offers.

A good library should host lectures.

A good library should work with local schools. A good library should showcase art. A good library should show classic and rare films.

Encinitas deserves a fine library. I admit, I hate the design. It should have a cleaner more affordable design but that is a moot point now.

Sometimes these people in our city council make me want to beat my head against the wall.


  1. The deck will get limited use during the winter as few people will bundled up and sit outside in the cold. The interior design will be the big surprise for library users because it follows the exterior design. Hope the designers increased the amount of table seating.

  2. Smile, before we cryFebruary 22, 2006 8:03 AM

    Councilman Bond had before called for an independent audit of the entire budget for the City of Encinitas. Now Mayor Christy Guerin pooh-poohed that, saying that could be taken care of through closed sessions.

    We think the old library was serving the city well. It didn't need to be demolished. But, yes, as JP says, that's a moot point now. And from your own post, JP, sounds like we haven't had a library for two years, not ten. Right?

    An extra media room could have been added on. Satellite libraries could have been opened, such as at the now closed elementary school, Pacific View. The Council chose the high digit expense way on this, many agree with us, to make political brownie points. Everyone is for libraries. But at what cost? Again, this is a moot point. Tear something decent down, we have no choice now. We do need a new library.

    But now the people, including those who may want to do some simple remodeling are all being charged higher permit fees. The City also takes more money from us in the form of higher Sewer and Sanitation fees, huge increases, doubling and tripling, to over a thousand dollars each year, forced on homeowners, and renters, through the owners, by the water districts and sanitation districts that must pay the city's "service debts" to repay bonds that are sold, without our vote. This is clearly a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but Peter is the taxpayers, and Paul is the City's ever increasing need for adding to incoming funds to accomplish the various vanity projects of our empire building City Council and City Manager, who messed up South Lake Tahoe, Kerry Miller, man of mannequin smile.

  3. And the kids, man! The kids.

    My wife uses the library 2-3 times a week here in Morro Bay; story-time on Wednesday, books, movies, cd's.

    The library should be a priority.

  4. And I thought Roger Moore was the worst Bond.

  5. Keeping TABs on city hallFebruary 22, 2006 8:25 PM

    The city does have a library -- the Cardiff library. Originally founded in 1914 it has been located in various buildings around Cardiff but finally got a permanent building in 2003 --- built by the County of San Diego with significant financial contributions from the residents of Cardiff.

    I agree Jim Bond is out of touch with what a modern library is all about.

    Stop by Cardiff on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm and enjoy a musical performance, meet a local author or participate in a poetry slam.

    Every Saturday has storytime for the kids.

    The library even now has free Wi Fi connection.

    The deck will be a great spot for community gatherings and events -- the Friends of the Encinitas library should get over their infighting about where the library should have been located -- its a moot point now. Start raising money to build the deck.

    Keeping TABs on city hall

  6. It's true, if Leucadia, Encinitas, New Encinitas, Cardiff and Olivehain are all really just Encinitas then we already do have a library.

  7. It all makes sense now. Bond has been impeding progress on the library all these years because he is an anti-intellectual. Libraries insure at least some kids in the next generation will be smart. Smart people are bad for politicians. Look at the trouble the smart people of Leucadia create for people like Bond. He is pushing for the sports fields over the library. Our kids need a balance of sports and access to information.

  8. The deck will get used, even during the intensively cold winters in our area. The exception might be snow days. (Haven’t had one of those since 1966.) The library is going to be nice. The community gave input on the location and so that’s where it is going. When they demolished the old library they carted out the asbestos, that alone made it’s demolition reasonable. The fact that the library is high digit expense relates more to the building boom in the world, especially in the emerging countries.

    The increase in permit fees are really nominal. Interior re-modeling jobs,unless changing the load bearing characteristics of the structure or doing extensive re-wiring seldom end up pulling permits. Those changing the footprint of the residence do need permits but the value of the re-model in today’s Encinitas real estate market more than compensates for the fee schedule. The increase in sewer and sanitation fees can be attributed to the revenue bonds that they service. Pacific View doesn’t belong to the City, and locating satellite branches probably is
    more neighborhood invasive than the current plan.

    The Cardiff library is a personal favorite of mine and many of the appeals and information articles
    that I write are worked on at the Cardiff branch, when there is room! Often there is no parking
    and frequently no desk space available. The City needs a second library.

    As to Mr Bond and his take on the continuing value of libraries, I think it has more to do with Mr
    Bonds rapid assimilation of electronic devices and their value to increased productivity. If you
    ever have the chance to watch Mr. Bond with his ipod at an event where he is making notes you would see that he is comfortable with 21st century communication. There are many times that I do not agree with his position on City Council business but I really believe he is a man of integrity during a difficult job with an eye to fiscal responsibility and the needs of the community. This
    doesn’t make him perfect but it does make him conscientious in my eyes. He is anything but anti-
    intellectual, he just feels that the residual value of the library investment may become moot as the
    ability of society to access information electronically continues to advance. On this I don’t want to agree. He may be correct but it would be a shame if book repositories no longer existed. Hell, I want to put book-mobiles back into the community to take books to those who can’t get to the library. I don’t want to believe books are dead. Libraries won’t insure that some kids in the next generation are smart, that responsibility goes to the parents and the teachers. An informed
    electorate is bad for bad politicians. I just don’t believe Mr Bond is a bad politician. As to the need for sports fields and parks for recreation, if we don’t provide a place for the kids to go they are going to sit in front of a TV or computer monitor in their free time and get round as little
    grapes. You can’t please all the people all the time.

  9. The interior design of the proposed library will give future councils the reason for gutting it to utilize the maximum space for books, tables, and other seating. Too late to change the design now, the gift horse will be built.

  10. In a twisted way Bond's strange attitude could have some small truth. Bond considers the internet as the holder of all information, and the library as a Barnes & Noble/Starbucks. Activity and lattes will replace quiet and no food or drink.

    Library books that are seldom checked out are removed and destroyed. Limited city funds for books means less books on the shelves. The internet could be the only full repository of information.

  11. My wife takes the kids to the library all the time (in Carlsbad). They have great programs and she is a bookworm. I like going to the library to study or relax but I like Barnes and Noble better because I can read the overpriced surf mags for free in a comfy easy chair and have a snack. That is, if all the chairs aren't taken. It's the hot new hangout.

    The library of the future should have:

    - Lots of childrens resources/programs to instill a love of books
    - ample net access
    - comfortable chairs living room style
    - a cafe'
    - no cell phones
    - displays of local artists

    oh, and books, lots of em

  12. Fiscal ResponsibilityFebruary 23, 2006 6:37 PM

    Councilman Bond and we have been on opposite sides many times.

    I do respect that he called for an audit some years ago. This was given the big thumbs down by Bossypants Guerin. She wants this kind of business to be handled in closed sessions.

    Also, when my daughter wrote Mr. Bond, he did write her back a couple of times. He does show more fiscal restraint than the other council members. He did vote not to put the illegal storm drain "fee," really a tax, on the EDCO trash bills. He did come out at a Council Meeting and say he was favoring voting no on the fee, but was confused, because both he and his wife are joint owners of their home, and only one would get to vote.

    This is another reason why all residents should be allowed to vote for this type of parcel/property tax, when every resident and business owner is affected by the storm drain programs. The vote should be taken at a general election, and should have to pass by a 2/3 majority of all those residents voting.

    Has anyone not voted on C yet? Vote No on C for victory, fiscal responsibility, and a continuing excellent clean water program, too. Remember, with increasing revenues from business taxes and dramatically rising property taxes, we have plenty of money in our General Fund.

  13. Look up the American Library Association recommendation for the size of a library per capita basis. It was 0.6 square feet per capita. The Encinitas population of 62,000 would need a library of 36,000 square feet. Even adding in the square footage of the Cardiff Library, the city is building a library below ALA recommended standards.

  14. Maybe I'm harshing on Bond a little too much but his comments really rubbed me the wrong way.
    That is good Bond is using technology, my wife listens to her I-Pod at the UCSD library all the time.

  15. Long Live LibertyFebruary 23, 2006 9:37 PM

    Hey, Gil, my understanding is asbestos is only dangerous during demolition, or when it's crumbling. That wasn't the case with the former library.

    But what will be, will be. No use crying over moot points. In hindsight, Council could have done better pre-planning, preventing piss-poor performance.

    Pacific View is not owned by the City, but the city is renting the land for something like $1 per year? Could the City buy this land from the school district? I do not hope for this location to be sold to commercial developers. The parking situation would not be consistent with the site's closeness in location to the bluffs, here, in my opinion. I'm no engineer.

    In La Mesa, a citizen engineer was just threatened with being sued by our City Attorney, Glenn Sabine, also La Mesa City Attorney, for citizen's speaking out against "coziness of developers with City Council." Same could easily happen here. This is outright abridgement of freedom of speech. Ditch the dirty dealers. We need elected city attorneys to represent needs of consituents, not act as personal attorneys for government dole city staff and council, at our expense, special prosecutor for counsel for Council. What a farce!

  16. Bond is wrong. Libraries are still the building blocks of learning. The internet is a poor third.

  17. Wikipedia is the biggest hoax in the history of the internet.

  18. Everyone is forgetting the most important aspect of the library, the librarian. When I was in school the librarian saved my life. I don't think I would have passed half my courses if it wasn't for the helpful librarians at UCLA.

  19. asbestos fibers are a plumbing/heating/ventilation nightmare. crawling under your houses i have found asbestos wraped pipes with the asbestos deteriorating very close to ventilation air intake vents. you really don't want old asbestos in your buildings where their is any chance of it entering the air circulation ducts, especially if thousands and thousands of residents and kids stand any chance of being exposed to it. i wear a filter mask when i go under older houses but it always creeps me out when i find old asbestos mask or no mask.

  20. I have to disagree with Gil Foerster about his perception of Councilman James Bond. I too had similar opinions until an insider of twenty years at city hall set me straight. Regardless of his reputation as a fiscal conservative, I was told that of all the council members, he is the one who feeds most voraciously at the public trough. He loves all the benefits that he can suck up, especially those related to his serving on the water boards, which involve almost no work, only his attendance.

    The other thing that troubles me is his present condition. Have you noticed his very red face, expecially his nose? I think the man has a condition that I will leave to each reader to imagine. He seems mentally confused at time, repeats himself a lot, and often seems inattentive. His performance at the Cardiff candidates' forum was scandalous. I believe the man is way past his prime and would best serve the public if he does not run again. Like an aging athlete who has stayed in the game too long, he has become an embarrassment.

  21. Bond sporadically plays the fiscal conservative horn, but let's step back and look at the wave he has riden.

    He could have kicked out.

  22. Vindictive City Attorney SabineFebruary 24, 2006 8:09 PM

    Yes, Bond should step aside and let some fresh blood have a chance at fiscal, Council reform. We can revere his service and bid him adieu. Hey, what kind of pension benefits do Council Members get? Just wondering. In any case, Bond will be with us until 2008. Our only hope now is to boot Bossypants Guerin and Lawnmower Man Dalager.

    And hey, guys, JP, please check out this week's CITYBEAT! Right up front, page 4, under title, "Who's more embarrassing?" we get to hear, again, how our corrupt City Attorney, Glenn Sabine gave La Mesa mayor and city council bad, bad advice, and went so far as to write a very threatening letter to a citizen engineer, Chris Tanner, for his speaking out against that city's development practices, changing their explosive regulations to benefit the developers.

    Any 10th grader knows about our 1st Amendment guarantees. One of the La Mesa council members did come out against this letter, the closed session, and the threatened lawsuit, according to last Saturday's UT. Two legal advocacy lawyers did also, one from California Aware, and another from Citizen's First Amendment Coalition (CFAC).

    Without a doubt our corrupt, sleazy city attorney, Glenn Sabine, who represents Council and staff, almost as a private attorney, for Encinitas, La Mesa and other SD county cities, should have known, and does know that citizens have a Constitutionally guaranteed right to express their opinions at City Council Meetings. As long as these terrible attorneys are at the rudder, we will continue to get poor governance and poor advice from these opportunists operating out of the law firm Sabine & Morrison in a manner so as to enrich themselves. More lawsuits, more threatening letters, more billable hours.

    We need to get some new Council Members who can stand up to these stupid stunts and illegal tactics. The attorneys are yes-men, giving poor, self serving advice. How much did Sabine get paid out of La Mesa taxpayer's money to write a threatening letter to Chris Tanner? Worse is going on here. We know for a fact!


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