Victory! Hayward City Council approves 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza

Dear Friends,

We are happy and proud to announce that last night the Hayward City Council approved the 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza project and awarded the construction contract with NO delays and NO last-minute changes to the design!

Your voices made the difference. Over 1,200 petition signatures were collected in ten days. Over 300 well-written comments supporting the project flooded in. Thank you!

When we presented the petition and comments to the City Council last night, it was an impressive sight. The packet was 56 pages thick, and every page was packed with your signatures and comments. Thank you!

Dozens of supporters turned out in person at the City Council meeting last night and spoke passionately about the years of effort and extensive community outreach that went into designing this project. Thank you!

We have never felt so humbled and fortunate to be a part of such an amazing community of neighbors and volunteers, as we did last night.

We thank Mayor Barbara Halliday for her awesome leadership and her strong vote in favor of the project. 

We thank Council Member Al Mendall for his strong support and for so eloquently making the motion to approve the project with no delays and no changes.

We thank Council Member Marvin Peixoto for his unwavering support, for seconding the motion, and for his incisive comments about fiscal responsibility and the need to approve the project with no changes or delays.

Our gratitude also goes to Council Member Greg Jones for his vote in favor of the project, and for his insightful comments about the deep and lasting benefits the Heritage Plaza will bring to Hayward. 

We are grateful for the positive vote cast by Council Member Elisa Márquez, and for her clear and concise comments about the lasting value of this project to Hayward.

Council Member Francisco Zermeño asked to "split" the project in two so he could cast his vote against the plaza restoration and old library demolition, while also preserving his public stance of supporting the new library. City staff advised that the consequences of "splitting" the project at this stage would be severe -- by law, all bids would have to be rejected and the entire project would have to be redesigned and rebid, resulting in a delay of several months and adding millions of dollars to cost. Ultimately, Council Member Zermeño reluctantly voted in favor of the motion.

Council Member Sara Lamnin voted against the motion after her request to amend the motion to cut the project budget was declined by Council Member Al Mendall, the maker of the motion.

The final City Council vote was 6-1 in favor of the awarding the construction contract with no delays and no last-minute, costly changes. This is an incredibly positive outcome and represents a giant step forward for the Hayward community.

Our deepest gratitude goes to all of you, our Friends, who showed your support though this petition, by writing letters, talking to your neighbors, and by speaking passionately to the City Council last night.

The 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza Arboretum is now officially a dream come true -- thanks in no small part to YOU!

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Please save the date and plan to attend this momentous occasion for Hayward.

Thank you,

From all of us
Friends of Hayward Library and
Committee to Protect Hayward's Future