For Want Of A Tree, A Design Is Lost?


Last week’s Park Ridge Herald-Advocate reports that the Park Ridge Public Library Board recently voted to give the Lakota Group a $5,860 contract to redesign the area south of the Library entrance, in the wake of the destruction of a tree during a June storm. (“Board selects firm to redesign reading area,” September 3)

The redesign is supposed to include the “removal of the bluestone gravel surface” and the addition of more trees “to create more shade in that area for people to sit” – according to Library Director Janet Van De Carr. 

We realize that in the scheme of the Library’s annual budget – which, incidentally, we could not find on the Library’s website – $5,860 might be considered chump change.  But we noticed that the Library Board is spending this money to redesign an area that was designed just two short years ago by…wait for it…the Lakota Group.  

We assume, or at least we would hope, that the original Lakota Group design for the “City Commons” was worth the money spent on it, which we recall as exceeding $1 million, all in.  So unless that Lakota design has somehow become obsolete in the intervening two years, why is the Library Board voting to redesign that entire area?  

C’mon, folks!  If destruction of the tree on that site is what’s driving this effort, then instead of spending almost $6,000 to redesign that area why not put that money toward replacing the fallen tree? 

We subscribe to the theory that when somebody says “It’s not the money, it’s the principle,” it’s usually the money.  But in this case, with the City’s finances in shambles and the recession impacting virtually every revenue source the City has, it should be about both money and principle. 

And if Lakota Group can’t come up with a design that remains viable for more than two years, why is the Library Board giving them yet another design (or “redesign”) contract?