Letter to the Editor: Alternatives for the Library Lecture Hall

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Next Tuesday our Newport Beach City Council will consider entering into an estimated $750,000 architectural contract for a Library Lecture Hall.

It’s the start of a slippery slope that could obligate taxpayers to fund an estimated $8 million building next to the Central Library for six to seven annual “high-profile” speakers sponsored by the Library Foundation.

For the past month I’ve been asking why?

That’s like building a taxpayer funded football stadium for eight games per year. The fans love it but taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

I’ve asked what’s wrong with our $140 million Civic Center? They say the “sight-lines” are bad and it’s overcrowded.

Or, what about using Oasis Community Center — they say the flat floor makes the “sight-lines” bad. People might have to strain to see the speakers.

I’ve asked what’s wrong with the “high-profile” speakers using Corona del Mar or Newport Harbor high schools theaters? Both have sloped floors. They say the school district won’t grant access.

Finally, the owner of the newly remodeled Lido Theater is willing to rent it at a nominal rate for the Speakers Series. Radio silence … a viable alternative saving taxpayers millions got no response.

Next Tuesday we’ll see which council members can resist the urge to spend millions of our taxes for a few fans on a lecture hall for six to seven annual speeches.

Bob McCaffrey
Balboa Island
Residents for Reform Volunteer Chairman

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