North Natomas Library Update: Politics As Usual

Come to find out, our post two days ago “Is the New North Natomas Library In Jeopardy?” was aptly titled. Is it in jeopardy? That’s a good question.

When it comes to the North Natomas Library and the North Natomas Finance Plan (NNFP) it’s all just politics as usual. The NNFP is money collected from developers meant to pay for infrastructure — such as a fire station, community center and roadway improvements — in North Natomas.

We were working our shift at the Natomas Police & Community Resource Center on Thursday when Friends of the North Natomas Library treasurer Nancy Christ came in and told us about the financial crisis facing the library.

An e-mail forwarded to us by a neighbor later that day, sent from Councilman Ray Tretheway‘s office, indicated the NNFP was being tapped to pay for library construction until state bond money comes through. However, read the message, “a very small minority of people and developer interests pulled it off the agenda and are now advocating delaying it indefinitely.” (click here to read this message)

The message goes on to ask Friends of the North Natomas Library to launch a letter-writing campaign asking City Manager Ray Kerridge to “take up the matter without delay.”

Apparently, this message from Trethway’s office is not entirely accurate. We are told members of the NNFP working group have met several times with city officials, on behalf of the North Natomas community, to discuss the terms under which these monies could be borrowed and to identify other possible funding sources that would get the library built.

In THE BUZZ’s opinion, this message not only undermines the efforts of numerous volunteers who continue to advocate for North Natomas, it also tried to pit these very same people against each other.

Shame, shame.

Fortunately, it did not work and NNFP working group members and Friends of the North Natomas Library now present a united front on this issue which is scheduled for the April 7 city council meeting.


  1. This issue is now scheduled to be considered at the April 7th City Council meeting.

    The meeting will be held at City Hall at 6 PM; those wishing to make public comments about the library should arrive at 5:30 PM to fill out a request to speak. Each speaker is allotted two minutes.

    The Friends will be there to pass out North Natomas ribbons so we can identify ourselves.

    Please help us keep the library project going by writing to Mayor Kevin Johnson and members of the City Council. Ask them to support a bridge loan to complete the library that does not jeopardize other vitally needed services in North Natomas.

    Together we can build a community that offers educational, cultural, recreational, and safety resources to all the people of North Natomas.

    Nancy Christ (webmaster/Treasurer)
    Karen Thomas (President)
    Friends of the North Natomas Library

  2. Angelique Ashby says

    BUZZ – Thank you for posting this update and for your part in helping the truth shine through…

  3. Anonymous says

    Good job Buzz. BAS

  4. Here is the response I got from John Dangberg after my email to Ray Kerridge expressing concern about the NNL:

    Dear Concerned Citizen:

    On behalf of City Manager Ray Kerridge, I wish to thank you for your letter in support of the North Natomas Library project. This is a very important project for the City of Sacramento and the North Natomas community. The City Manager’s Office is diligently working to secure a funding solution that will allow this high priority project to move forward without any further delay. The unfortunate circumstance we find ourselves in today is the result of the State halting over $7 million in funding for the project due to the State budget crisis. The latest information we have is that the State funding could be delayed for a minimum of one year as long as five years.

    In order to keep the project going, the City will need to find interim funding from local sources. As I am sure you are aware, the City has its own fiscal challenges that limit our funding options. With few exceptions, other sources of City funding are unavailable or not eligible for use on this project. We are exploring the few remaining possibilities. One possible, but potentially controversial, source is the use of North Natomas Public Facility Funds. This is an eligible source subject to City Council approval. These funds could be loaned to the project and repaid upon receipt of the State funding. Using these funds would not delay other high priority projects, including the second fire station or community center project.

    We are now scheduled to bring a funding recommendation to the City Council on April 7, 2009 at 6:00 PM. We anticipate that there will be public testimony both in opposition and in support of any funding recommendation. You are encouraged to participate in the public process and express your views to your elected officials at the City Council meeting.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and wishes.

    John Dangberg

    Assistant City Manager

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