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Library parking expansion benefits whole city

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On Monday, I was pleased to support Resolution Number 2011-13 to fix parking problems at the West Linn Public Library. This resolution authorized the city to proceed with the purchase of an adjacent property, which will allow for construction of more parking spaces with direct access to the teen and children's area of the library.

The resolution also created an important community partnership with Polar Systems to provide even more parking in the next-door lot in the evenings and on weekends.To me, support for this resolution was essential, not only because I support the West Linn Public Library, but because I support libraries in general. Throughout our history we have, since we learned to write on clay tablets, organized and catalogued our ideas in libraries. I believe that we did, and do, that because we need a place where we can gather, examine ideas and forge new and better paths for a civil society. In fact, libraries are so essential that one of the first entities created in North America was a library. It was established in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin.

History has shown us that, when government wishes to control its people, it first takes control of the media, the schools and the libraries. For the last decade West Linn has, with no ill intent, limited access to one of our most significant cultural resources because we did not have enough parking.

Resolution Number 2011-13 corrects this lack of access and will allow more citizens to take advantage of an essential public service. Our library is the cultural center of West Linn; it is the place where people go to learn more, expand their worldviews and spend time with their neighbors. All of this positive energy is great and makes West Linn a place that I am proud to call home.

In the coming months, staff will move forward with plans to build the new parking lot, and the community can expect a celebration when the new parking lot is operational. This lot will alleviate the parking problems that have plagued the library in recent years and will ensure that all West Linn library users can have easy access to the best library in Oregon. And finally, a few well-deserved thank you's:

* To West Linn for passing the Library District Bond in 2008;

* To the Library Advisory Board for making parking solutions a priority for the council;

* To city staff for pursuing this opportunity;

* And to Polar Systems for making this a value-added proposition.

We can accomplish many things when we work together!

Mike Jones is a West

Linn City Councilor