New Poll Shows Baton Rouge Voters Oppose River Center Branch Library Budget Proposal

November 21, 2010

The Baton Rouge Tea Party commissioned a recent poll to gauge public opinion on the demolition and rebuilding of the River Center Branch Library. The results show that 61% oppose the proposed plan to double the size of the existing facility at a cost of $22 million dollars. While the public does show approval for the Tea Party’s efforts, it is important to note that they also have a favorable view of Mayor Kip Holden.

The results of this poll contradict both Council Member Alison Cascio’s position that “there has been no opposition in her district” and the Library Director David Farrar’s statements that “the public is in favor of the project.” There are also two more interesting results from this poll. One, there is not one region in the entire parish that approves of the current library project and two, as a voters likely hood to vote increases so, does their opposition to the current plan. Both of these points should send a clear message to the Metro Council that their constituents oppose rebuilding the RCB Library and especially those who vote consistently.

The Baton Rouge Tea Party (BRTP) opposes the library project as presented at the Metro City Council meetings. BRTP does not oppose plans to renovate the existing library building, despite the fact that, the River Center Branch Library is the least used of all 13 libraries in EBR Parish, the brand new Carver library is less than 1 mile away from the River City Branch, and the proposed 60,000 square foot project would violate the Library Board’s own 15,000 sq ft. standards for a branch library. According to BRTP President Josh Jarreau, “The facts regarding this proposal are blatant. If this library was not in the middle of DDD Town Square then few would seriously suggest doubling the size of the least used library and certainly no one would approve of building a brand new library less than a mile away from another new library.”

In 2005 voters renewed a dedicated property tax for the future of the Parish Library system. What the public has shown they do not approve of, as evidenced by recent votes against taxes for the Alive project, is passing a tax to fund the government’s downtown experiments. If the Metro Council intends to be good stewards of the public’s money and trust, then they will heed the public response to deny this request. If not, they will open the door for more skepticism regarding their intentions and will certainly hurt any chance for renewals or additional taxes in future requests.

The poll was contracted by Baton Rouge Tea Party and conducted by the professional polling company JMC Enterprises of Louisiana.

Baton Rouge Tea Party as an organization believes in the Constitution of the United States, Free Markets, Limited Government, and Fiscal Responsibility. Our mission is to organize, educate, and inform our fellow citizens for the purpose of securing public policy consistent with our core values. We will unify and exercise through all legal means available to us, our power to effect the election of local, state, and federal candidates who espouse our core values. The Baton Rouge Tea Party is a non-partisan grassroots organization of individuals united by our core values, derived from the Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill Of Rights, the Federalist Papers, and the Declaration of Independence.

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