In response to Diane Kelley-Tefft’s January 28, 2005 ´Right To Know¡ request, which asked City Manager Bohenko a series of questions about library, we were flabbergasted to read the following: ‘The total cost of building the new library on Parrot Avenue will not be known until the City has received what is called a Guaranteed Maximum Price from its construction manager, North Branch. Therefore, it was impossible at any time in the past for the City to have ´disclosed to the public the total costs¡ of the library’.
Is it just us, or did everyone understand the City to have told us that the library would cost $7 million…and that $3 million of that would come from private donations? One might choose to cut the City some slack regarding the $7 million price tag. Construction costs have indeed risen since the $7 million price tag was quoted by the City.
However, to claim that, ´it was impossible at any time in the Past for the City to have disclosed to the public the total costs of the library¡ seems to us like a direct contradiction of the facts. From Where did the $7 million cost number and the claim that $3 million would be raised privately? Were they both just fabricated out of whole cloth to convince a trusting public that the library project was a great deal?
And once voted on, were the hardball tactics used by the City just part of the plan to push the library through no matter what?