Excerpt: The lack of support for a referendum may be a sign of the political power of the library proposal itself, which at least at this point looks like a good bet to succeed. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz made the proposal for the new Central Library in his capital budget a few weeks ago, and while the City Council will have its say on that next month, there are few people on or off the council who have publicly opposed the Central Library so far.
In some ways, opposing a new Central Library has all the appeal of opposing apple pie, but many council members have also been swayed by the current library's state of disrepair. It would cost at least as much to modernize the 45-year-old building as to build a new one, officials say, and there are also historically low prices on new construction. If the council does add the Central Library project to the capital budget next month, construction could begin as early as next year, and the library could be completed by 2012.