Letter to the Editor: Proposed Lecture Hall Unnecessary

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Our Newport Beach Library Board of Trustees are wonderful community minded individuals. They support the Central Library and sponsor the Witte Lecture Series of six or seven annual high-profile speakers’ events through the Newport Public Library Foundation.

They are floating an idea to build their own “Library Lecture Hall” next to the in the Civic Center adjacent to the Central Library.

Here’s the problem, they “want” taxpayers to pay for it. They think they “need” it.

The early cost estimate is 8 million dollars.

I’ve seen this movie before. The early cost estimates for City Hall was 50 million dollars. It ballooned to 140 million dollars costing us 8 million per year to pay off the 228 million long-term debt.

The City Hall construction included a multi-million breezeway connecting it to the Central Library.

Instead of building a “Library Lecture Hall” why don’t they simply use the ornate city council chambers or the new Community Room.

Newport has many “needs” including harbor dredging, properly funding public safety, and top-notch city services.

Do we really “need” another lecture hall because someone “wants” it?

Bob McCaffrey
Balboa Island

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