I’ll lay even money that someone will write a letter to the editor of the Keller Citizen telling how Jim Carson wants to turn down offers of free money.

In our meeting tonight with the Library Board, the third agenda item was whether the city should actively seek grant money to supplement the $4 million expansion/renovation we’re planning to do. There were plenty of huzzahs and absolutelys around the table, but when my turn came I had to be honest and say, “I’m not comfortable with the idea.”

This is as egalitarian as I’m likely to ever get, but I just think it is unseemly for a city as rich as Keller to go around shaking a tin cup at potential donors. Our average household income tops $100,000 per year—can we really justify competing for library grant money against inner-city Dallas and dirt-poor rural areas?

So look for letters to the editor aghast that I would deny the poor, poor children of poor, poor Keller the ability to read because I don’t want to seek grants. And Positively Keller will be positively giddy that I’ve handed them another issue to spin against me. Oh well, I am very much counting on hyper-intelligent people showing up to vote.

Mitch Holmes brought up a good point about the library petition which became law in December, 2005:

Resolved, the City of Keller shall not construct nor remodel any public library, without first submitting the issue of whether to fund the building or remodeling of a public library at a particular site, to a vote of the qualified voters of the City of Keller.

Mitch’s concern was that, because the petition did not mention the source of funds, we could not spend even grant money without explicit permission of the voters. It’s an interesting point that we’ll have the city attorney check out. I’m in favor of asking the voters to repeal the petition, now that we no longer have to fear council end-runs around the voters. Or don’t we?