Sandra Ivany’s opinion piece got printed in Oct 20th Sentinel –

***** Use Measure S funds to Renovate Downtown Library !

 It is just remarkable that Bonnie Lipscomb, Economic Director of the City of Santa Cruz, could write an editorial on Tuesday October 13 that claims, “..the library plan is the key to solving housing crisis”.

 Ms. Lipscomb claims that the funding sources for the 6 story garage with library have already been identified. Despite what she writes, actual costs as well as funding sources are obviously unclear and unspecified.

 Another unknown in this proposal concerns the future usage of the current library building.  This building sits opposite City Hall and the Civic Center making library renovation a perfect way to solidify a Civic Center.

 And what is to be the fate of the current library building ?  Before any decision is made to move forward or spend any funds at all – this question must be answered.   There has been speculation that the current library building would be renovated for offices of city staff or even that it might be leased or sold to Amazon.

 The current estimate for the multi-use complex is estimated to be $ 85 million – $ 100 million to be paid for over 30 years. That is a very large range and a tremendous expenditure for a city with a current projected  $ 20 million budget deficit in the next 2 years.

 Consider for a moment that the new lot for the proposed Farmer’s Market would move to  Cathcart and Front Street. Ironically, very scarce parking is near that lot and lot itself is half the size of current space on which the present Farmer’s Market stands. Why has this not been taken into consideration in the countless hours of meetings and discussions about this topic?

Does Santa Cruz need a 400 space parking garage?  Consultants hired to study the matter state “no”.   And who will be the population to most enjoy a library on the first floor of a 6-story parking garage?   Would parents and families will be attracted to such a library or would they opt instead to visit other branches of the library system? Imagine the two years of construction, noise and disruption to traffic building this 6-story project in the heart of downtown.  How would that impact local business? 

And once completed, how would this behemoth  architecturally affect the charming “village” feel of Cedar Street called for in the 2017 Downtown Plan?  Has an analysis been made about how Cedar Street would maintain the traffic flows towards a 400 space garage?

 What is our vision for a better downtown Santa Cruz?

 Current Farmer’s Market lot is the largest open space downtown.  There will be no replacing it.   We need public space to draw people into heart of Santa Cruz –  a place for people to gather – a downtown “commons”. And the renovated library, with doors facing City Hall, would only enhance Civic Center area.

It is such a pity that after 4 years, the community is still spending time and energy to oppose the ill-conceived mixed-use project.  Building a garage is the last thing Santa Cruz needs to do right now.  It is based on outdated philosophies and concepts of urban planning.   The community has largely made that clear.

 A significant City Council meeting takes place this Tuesday October 27 – “detailed financial information regarding each component of the mixed use project” will be presented.

In that meeting,  City Council could vote to approve the hiring of a project manager for the construction at the cost of $ 240,000. Please attend on October 27 via Zoom and comment with your views and vision for Santa Cruz!

 The funds for the library remodel are available right now:   voting on measure S in 2016 was a vote to restore 10 libraries in Santa Cruz County. And please consider carefully the positions of the City Council candidates on this matter before you vote.
~   Sandra Ivany, community member since 1988



  • * (incumbent) Sandy BROWN,  
  • *  Kelsey HILL  
  • *  Kayla KUMAR

Please attend Zoom City Council meeting Tuesday 10/27 6 PM –  to discuss library that looks like a 6 story parking garage  
The AGENDA has just been published:In 10/27 meeting they will make a “Motion to award the contract …. to Griffin Structures, Inc. in the amount up to @ 240,000…”
The City Council cannot authorize a contract for 240,000,000. for a project that we cannot afford in the first place. What are they thinking !! 
What happened to the “detailed financial information regarding each component of the mixed use project”

If you cannot attend meeting, please email :,

Please feel free to quote from any of the facts in the Op Ed.Measure S was county-wide so feel free to respond even if you do not live in the City of Santa Cruz.and write or tell City Council and City Staff

– listen to the community – we are tired of so many hidden agendas.  Be honest and transparent. –  Use Measure S funds to Renovate Downtown Library ! 

  • –  Make the current site of Farmer’s Market permanent. Apply for grant funds to create Public Commons at this site. 
  • –  Santa Cruz does not have the money to build this $ 80 million plus parking garage .  The discussion has been going on now for 4 years. End this discussion and renovate the downtown library. 
  • –  Any explanation of “detailed financial information regarding each component of the mixed use project” presented at next City Council meeting will be a wild estimate and misleading.  
  • –  Do not turn Santa Cruz into a Developer’s dream and extend our resources past what is possible.  
  • –  There are currently 2,400 + units either permitted or waiting to be permitted in the City of Santa Cruz.
  • –  Homelessness, Affordable Housing, Water Issues, Climate Change – these are complex issues and Santa Cruz can realistically hope to set an example of what a 21 st Century sustainable community looks like.   
  • –  “Affordable” housing is not the solution it seems to be – let’s have that discussion and explore options that work – it is more complex that it appears to be – do not use that as incentive for more building until there can be community education on what “affordable” housing really means and who it serves.