Judith Harris and Mel Katz went to a San Diego City Council committee hearing this week to explain why San Diegans should trust them with $32.5 million.
The two biggest boosters of the downtown schoobrary project have pledged they would raise that amount by January 2012 to finance the second and final part of the $185 million main library/charter school hybrid. Without that money, San Diego taxpayers could be on the hook for the remaining bill, which right now is nearly the equivalent of the Library Department’s annual budget.
Harris and Katz told the council committee they’ve targeted donors and are betting that funding will materialize once the city sticks a shovel in the ground and begins construction. But they acknowledged their promises had a limit.
“I think you have to honestly say that fundraising is a leap of faith,” Harris said.
The city could take that leap as soon as June 28, when the full council is expected to decide on the schoobrary’s construction.