Search results for: "end of the hunt"

Matthew Leslie

The Fullerton City Council will discuss “price and terms” for the Hunt Library in the closed session part of their regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday May 1. The closed session, which begins at 5:00 p.m., is typically held in the smaller room behind then main city council chambers and is not open to members of the public. However, the city council will hear public comments at 5:00 p.m. prior to recessing to closed session in the back room.

We will not know anything about what was discussed and what decisions were made until the open session of the meeting, which begins at 6:30, and then, only if the city council chooses to divulge any information at all.

Anyone concerned about this development should plan to be present in the main city council chambers at 5:00 p.m. to let the council know that before any discussion of selling off this unique public asset begins, a robust and thorough open conversation involving the people of Fullerton needs to take place.If you cannot be at city hall at 5:00 p.m. (and even if you do plan to attend), you can always send an email to the city council at the following address:council@cityoffullerton.comand call them at: (714) 738-6311 to tell them that rather than selling off a mid-century modern gem of a building that served the people of southwest Fullerton as a library for over half a century, the council should do what the Library Board of Trustees has asked them to do for years–adequately fund it to reopen and operate as a library once again.

Library Agenda 4-25-18

Matthew Leslie

On Thursday, April 26 the regular 5:00 meeting of the City of Fullerton Library Board of Trustees will include an update on the Hunt Library facility by Library Director Judy Booth.  The meeting will take place in the board room room of the main branch of the Fullerton Public Library located at 353 W. Commonwealth Ave.

Updates about the Hunt Branch should be of interest to anyone interested in ensuring that the closed facility remains in the pubic realm instead of being sold off to fill the deficit of the city’s mismanaged budget.

The best solution, of course, would be for the city council to allocate adequate funding to once again operate the Hunt as a branch of the Fullerton Library system, as it was for half a century, but at least two members of the city council want to sell it–to whom, we might ask?

Hunt Register

The Hunt Branch Library could be sold off by the city—who does that? Who sells a public library?

HuntBranch1

The Hunt Branch Library is back on the agenda of the Fullerton Public Library’s Board of Trustees meeting later today. Readers will recall that the Hunt, one of only two branches in the Fullerton Public Library system, was abruptly closed in 2013 after claims that the area was unsafe for library staff because of the burgeoning homeless population who had taken up residence near the railroad tracks behind the facility. The Hunt’s hours had been severely curtailed in prior months following cuts to FPL’s operating budget, resulting in a drop in patron attendance.

The Library Board of Trustees will meet in Fullerton Main Library, Library Board Room, 353 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832, at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, February 25. A link to their agenda can be found here:

Click to access FEBRUARY-25-Agenda.pdf

A supplementary agenda letter 16 02 25 Hunt Property Agenda Letter (2) (2) relates that the Hunt Branch was ultimately leased to neighboring Grace Ministries International (GMI) in October, 2013. GMI is using the facility, which once served the needs of neighborhood children, as an overflow space while its own offices undergo renovation, or at least that is how it was presented to the Fullerton City Council at the time of the lease approval.

The Hunt Branch Library was given to the City of Fullerton by Norton Simon, whose businesses were headquartered in the neighboring office building, now owned outright by GMI, who later added an outsized building to the campus. Both the Hunt and the original office building, now largely obscured by GMI’s giant addition, are mid-century modernist gems designed by world famous architect William Pereira. At the time of the Hunt Branch’s lease to GMI in 2013, assurances were made that the process for listing both Pereira structures for historical preservation, or at least recognition, purposes would soon begin. Two and half years later, neither building is listed with the National Register of Historic Places or enjoys any measure of protection at all.

Now, the FPL agenda letter explains that the “term of the lease is now nearing the end of the term and we request direction for the use/disposition of the Hunt Branch Library. The lease continues on a month-to-month basis until the Library Board of Trustees and City Council provide further direction.”

In a series of posts about the Hunt Branch in 2013, The Rag expressed dismay about its closure, and some skepticism that it would ever open again as a library. (The Beginning of the End of the Hunt). Retired City Manager Chris Meyer, who now serves on the Library Board of Trustees, was good enough to write into the blog and leave this comment below the first story:

March 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm

This is not the beginning of the end for Hunt . Rather, it is the first step in getting back control of a City facility that has suffered from budget cuts, a hard to find location, a hostile, and unsafe environment, and a need for its role in the community to be redefined, and funded accordingly. The Norton Simon Foundation has released its reverter clause in the gift deed, and the facility is now unfettered by its requirement to solely be a library, which opens up a wide range of services, including a library, and media access center, and whatever the community needs. It is my belief that after the homeless issue at the branch is addressed, and the City’s budget recovers, there will be an opportunity for a renaissance of the facility, and the adjacent park. To that end the Daltons, and Fullerton Heritage will be working to add the branch, and the main building on the Grace Ministries campus to the National Register to protect these significant architectural structures designed by William Pierra (sic), as part of the City’s rich cultural history. This is not the beginning of the end, but rather the start of a new, and much more diverse role for Hunt in the southwest community.

Chris Meyer

Fullerton City Manager, Ret.

Mr. Meyer’s contention that the Hunt is hard to find is open to debate. The facility is easily reached from Valencia Ave., where many underserved children live in apartments that line the street. However, his comment does express hope that the Hunt may find a new use that serves the community. The Rag and its readers await today’s meeting to find out whether or not the Library Board of Trustees still believes the Hunt Branch will enjoy the “opportunity for a renaissance” Mr. Meyer offered, or will recommend handing it over to a church instead.

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