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Let’s use Visner design and get shovel in ground PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

I have the highest regard for Eagle River’s mayor and City Council, and a keen appreciation for the often thankless public service they provide to our community year in and year out. They are thoughtful and conscientious stewards of our tax dollars and give tremendous value to taxpayers.

However, I agree with last week’s News-Review editorial supporting the local library board’s need to use a building-expansion plan created by local building designer Jeff Visner. Hundreds of donors have contributed or pledged more than $2 million based on the Visner design.

But the mayor and City Council have strongly suggested, almost demanded, that the library board start over and seek new bids for the design work, believing I guess that good stewardship requires bidding every phase of the expansion project.

While state law does require that all construction work be bid, it’s pretty clear there’s no legal requirement to bid design work, as research done for last week’s editorial has discovered. It is also clear that the library board got a tremendous value with the Visner design, using it to attract donations sufficient to pay for nearly the entire cost of the library expansion.

My hope is that, a few years from now, this community is not sitting around coffee tables and civic club gatherings and City Council meetings saying, “How could we have let millions in donations, overwhelming support for a creative design, near unanimous community support, and years of hard work by a well-intentioned City Council and library board — how could we have let all of that slip through our fingers?”

Let’s move ahead with the Visner design, bid the rest of the work and get a shovel in the ground.

Jim Holperin

Eagle River

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 9:57 AM


+2 #1 Anthony Corallo 2014-06-03 15:38
Jim, Perhaps you did not understand the Mayor and attorneys representing Eagle River regarding the proposed library addition. Are you like the Journalist at the News Review practicing law? Is it helpful to declare these experts paid to manage public affairs according to law as being obstructionalis t? As a former legislator you of all people know the importance of following the law. Do you expect the usual Eagle River rassel-dassel political approach will win the day? It will not!
If the good people working on the library project consulted with one expert regarding the legal process,the current situation would not exist! They believed their own propaganda!

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