How can KRL change its offer in mid-campaign?

Let’s review for a few moments

The Kitsap Regional Library began its campaign for a levy lid lift a few months back by offering on paper to spend “up to” $3 million of its anticipated new revenues to build a new library for Port Orchard in 2013 or 2014 — providing the city came up with a matching amount.

After meeting with Port Orchard’s mayor, library officials dropped the “up to” provision and agreed to spend the entire $3 million.

They also agreed to drop the demand for a funding match, even though this amounted to a purely symbolic gesture because $3 million won’t come close to paying for the entire project.

Consequently, whether KRL insists Port Orchard come up with half of the construction price or not, it’s clear the city will have to pay its share — despite the fact that KRL is spending far more to cover the entire cost of new libraries in Silverdale and Kingston.

Still, this rather modest accomodation prompted the mayor to set aside his longstanding objections and endorse the levy request.

A few weeks later, at a meeting with the Port Orchard Independent’s editorial board, the same library officials offered to pay for the city’s entire library if the project could be postponed until 2018.

Not surprisingly, the mayor — who wasn’t party to this discussion — responded by withdrawing his earlier endorsement.

Now, from an economic standpoint, I understand that KRL will presumably have retired other bonds by that time, giving it additional bonding capacity with which to build the Port Orchard project.

What I don’t understand is how they can change their offer in mid-campaign.

Isn’t KRL obligated to provide precisely what it promised in writing when the lid lift request was first approved?

More to the point, if they can sweeten their offer after the fact to obtain the endorsement of the mayor and the media, couldn’t they just as easily come back once the lid lift is approved and say they can’t afford to give us anything?

Based on KRL’s rather flexible standards and their historic treatment of the Port Orchard market, can you think of any reason why we should trust them on this point?

Me neither.

Marcy Kelley is a Port Orchard resident.

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