I am puzzled and dismayed that the county has pulled out of the library/parking garage/senior center project in downtown Mount Vernon.

All three of these badly needed things would benefit the county as well as the city. When the project started, I loved the idea that the library and senior center could be housed in the same building. Certainly shared senior center library space would save money for both in the long run.

I envisioned elders (like me) encountering young families in ways that are really not available or encouraged now. The services are several blocks apart now with no chance meetings possible. Maybe I could get to know a young person who would help me with my numerous technical needs at the library. I would gladly trade that for cooking lessons in a shared kitchen.

New libraries are places of dynamic, active learning much different from the tiny library in Ferndale where I grew up. They provide active, experiential learning to the whole community. The old and the young have so much to teach each other, and proximity would enable that to happen naturally. Both programs would be enriched by working together to provide opportunities for mutual learning.

I hope that Commissioners Janicki and Wesen consider this carefully and make a decision for the good of the whole county. Commissioner Dahlstedt, who supposedly represents the Mount Vernon area, seems to have set his mind against the project, and that does not serve me or the Mount Vernon community. Counties and cities with forward-looking government policies manifested by dynamic services and institutions make the whole area a more attractive place to live and invest in. Politics must not be allowed to destroy this worthwhile project.

Suzanne Butler

Mount Vernon

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