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If you were unable to attend the March 26th Erie County Council Meeting to rescind the Gannon lease you should take some time to watch it now. March 26 meeting https://

March 12th meeting:

For months taxpayers have been doing research and have shared important information that demonstrate why this lease read the lease is so bad for the library and for Erie County Taxpayers.

Four council members voted to rescind the lease but we will need a fifth to override the Brenton Davis Veto. Council has 30 days from the March 27 veto.

WE MUST CONTACT these Council members who voted for the lease JIM WINARSKI, ELLEN SCHAUERMAN AND CHARLIE BAYLE and tell them them must vote for the best interests of the taxpayers they represent and rescind the lease!

When emailing them be sure to include the entire County Council so everyone knows how many people are contacting them.

Jim Winarski Dist 4: Ellen Schauerman District 7 eschauerman@eriecountypa.govCharlie Bayle District 6 cbayle@eriecountypa.govAndre Horton Dist 2 ahorton@eriecountypa.govTerry Scutella:Dist 1 tscutella@eriecountypa.govChris Drexel: Dist. 5 ,Rock Copeland Dist 3

The ordinance had a first reading at the March 12 regular meeting and is tentatively be up for an official vote at the March 26 regular meeting.


Help us reach more people by sharing this article and information that sets the record straight. We are not against Gannon's Project NePTWNE.


The public had no say and our opposition continues to be met with false information, character assassinations, and disdain.We have been dismissed as "four old ladies on the street corner everyday holding signs". This is demeaning and could not be farther from the truth! (As of this writing at 12:30 PM on 3/13/24 we have almost 6,000 signatures (online + on paper) from people of all ages who want to KEEP OUR LIBRARY PUBLIC!)

The Public Library is the wrong location for a research lab!


If you do the math it is clear that the deal Brenton Davis made with Gannon University is not in the best interest of taxpayers or our public library! Have you read the LEASE?(You can read it here)


By signing this petition you ARE NOT SAYING YOU ARE AGAINST the Gannon program. YOU ARE SAYING: NOT IN OUR PUBLIC LIBRARY! We think the program has merit but taking space in our public library is WRONG!

More information is below the petition content. If you are a GANNON ALUMNI PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.


We, the undersigned Citizens of Erie County and Alumni of Gannon University oppose leasing the Blasco Public Library spaces to Gannon University for Project NePTWNE. it is an excellent project and it deserves a location of its own. No public building should lend itself to private entities eroding the concepts on which a public building has been established . Moreover, Gannon, Brenton Davis and the County Council has FAILED the public in a democratic process of inclusion on this decision. ERIE COUNTY COUNCIL'S DECISION MUST BE REVERSED!

Please ask other Erie County citizens and Gannon Alumni you know to sign. We need to show County Government and Gannon that the Citizens of Erie and Gannon Alumni are against this location.


The fact is Gannon is only expected to pay to Erie County as rent for the Leased Premises the base sum of $22,956.00 per year (based on a rate of $7.00 per square foot), payable in equal monthly installments of only $1,913.00. This is far below market value and even less than what they are paying for their current sublease with Lakeshore Towing which increases from the original $8.00/sf in Nov, 2022 to $10.00/sf in Nov, 2023 to $12.00/sf in Nov, 2024.

Gannon is even paying more for their private box at the Erie Insurance Arena - A three-year, $105,000 sponsorship deal for exclusive views of events, separate restrooms and concessions! It is a much smaller space than that which they will take in OUR public library!


If the University were paying what the county is paying for the space being rented for the Veterans Affairs Office in the Intermodal Center, just across Holland Street from Blasco, they would be paying approximately $22.00 s/f. (3,280 s/f x $22.00 = or $70,400.00/year.

Based on just the square-footage recognized in the lease the first year the cost would be $70,400.00. With no requirement to raise the rent, over the 25 year lease, that adds up to around $1,760,000.00 dollars. According to the amount in the lease they will only be paying $573,900.00. No wonder Gannon does not want to rescind the lease!

So based on this scenario TAXPAYERS ARE SUBSIDIZING $1,186,100.00. And because the lease does not raise the rent or include use of other important areas, we are subsidizing Gannon University by so much more because:

The lease FAILS TO CHARGE ANY RENT UNTIL Gannon changes our public spaces to their specifications. AND...Gannon ALSO WILL NOT PAY ANYTHING FOR THE (Shared use of (i) the classroom and Idea Lab located in the Building, the Building's garage bay to transport materials and equipment in and out of the Leased Premises and store a golf cart or other small utility vehicle, and (iii) the restrooms and other common areas of the Building. (They did not specify what those OTHER common areas are in the lease.) HOWEVER OTHER COMMON SPACES include the Hirt Auditorium, the Admiral Room, the lobby areas and of course parking outside. ALL OF THIS SPACE IS FREE TO GANNON! Shouldn't a cost have been added for the use of those spaces?

If Gannon University and County Council move forward with the lease to take space in the Blasco Library, they become complicit in a lie because the Erie County Public Library would no longer be public but the public would be subsidizing Gannon. They also become complicit in silencing the voices of the people in Erie County!

The Erie County Public Library is a public trust. It belongs in its entirety to the citizens of Erie County. So why were they kept in the dark as Brenton Davis and Gannon administrators worked behind closed doors to agree to a lease giving Gannon space in a library that belongs to the people?

The Blasco Library belongs to the residents of Erie County

Hear from Erie County Citizens Don't Give Up the Blasco

YourErie covers the Blasco Fiasco Protest at the Maennerchor

Email letters so you have proof you contacted the following people who can change this injustice against the citizens, taxpayers and owners of the public library!,,,,,,,,,,

Copy the news media,,,,,

The Computer lab on first floor pictured below shows no unused space! Yet it was moved without notice! And now Brenton Davis and Gannon administrators are lying about why the lab was moved from the upstairs location. The true fact about the computer lab at the Blasco branch of your public library is that it was moved downstairs as a part of the library expansion project. That 2016-2017 Master Plan project had public input and was implemented based on their feedback. It was moved downstairs to give better access. That is an easily verifiable fact. So why is Davis and Gannon saying it was moved due to COVID?

Does the space above look like it is not being used? Brenton Davis and Gannon are trying to make you believe it is unused space that Gannon can lease to create a Research Lab in our Blasco Public Library!

Brenton Davis and Dr Walter Iwanenko continue to spout the lie that they are taking unused space on the first floor in the Blasco Library. This is a blatant lie! The spaces they are saying are unused are certainly used by patrons and staff.

Yet Brenton Davis gave the command to move the lab to the second floor without notice to library patrons, staff or the public! It is clear his allegiance is to Gannon not the citizens and taxpayers of Erie County!

This sign appeared on the front door the morning they were moving the computers. It's more than an inconvenience!

On December 23, the Blasco Library turned 27! Will it make it to 28 intact? Not if Brenton Davis and Gannon proceed with their plans.Please learn more about the attempts by County Executive Brenton Davis to "steal" our public library. He is wreaking havoc by first making back room deals with Gannon to take space in the Blasco Library. Then he tries to eliminate library staff by cutting positions and not filling those that are vacant! He was unsuccessful in eliminating some library staff but we must keep him from leaving positions unfilled and from giving away space in our public library to Gannon!

Link to Lease that GIVES AWAY portions of our PUBLIC LIBRARY to a Private Non-Profit Link to the Gannon Lease

The Blasco Public Library is the cornerstone of democracy in Erie County. The mandate of a public library is to serve the general public's information needs rather than the needs of a particular school, institution, religion or research project. Gannon's research project belongs at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center!

Take a few minutes to sign our Keep Our Library Public petition to oppose the lease that Brenton Davis and County Council signed with Gannon. opinion Why I oppose Gannon's Blasco Library Lease

Residents battle cold and misinformation to defend Blasco Library

Coverage on County Council Meeting 12/12/23

Erie Times-News /story/news/local/2023/12/13/brenton-davis-proposes-cuts-vetoes-2024-erie-county-pa-budget-

Erie Times-News Council voted to reject Davis budget cuts

Benedictine sisters support public libraries

Facebook Group Keep Our Library Public


Public Library wrong location for Gannon projectNo transparency. Public ignored. Equity overlooked.

Erie County’s agreement for a 25-year lease with Gannon University to take over 3,000-square-feet of space at Blasco Library for the Gannon Great Lakes Research & Education Center was hatched in secret. Gannon will pay bargain rates for prime bayfront property for the length of the lease. Gannon will also have access to other library public spaces, including a lab, parking spots, restrooms, auditorium and the garage, for no added cost. The lease doesn’t provide for the public’s priority use of those spaces.The Erie County Library system runs with YOUR tax dollars. Yet Erie County Executive Brenton Davis and five County Council members kept this partnership under wraps, with no chance for the public to respond until the night of the vote on Oct. 17. Despite hearing objections from members of the public for 75 minutes, including many former library employees, council approved the lease on a 5-2 vote. Only Andre Horton and Terry Scutella voted no.The Great Lakes Research & Education Center Project is part of Gannon’s Project NePTWNE (“Neptune”). We support the environmental mission of the research center but Gannon must explore alternative sites for this center, including but not limited to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, the Bayfront Maritime Center, the Intermodal Center and the original site proposed for the center, the historic Union Fish Company. The mandate of a public library is to serve the general public's information needs rather than the needs of a particular school, institution, religion or research project. Gannon Research Center belongs at the TRECLibraries level the playing field. As great democratic institutions, they serve people of every age, income level, location, ethnicity, race, religion, and physical ability. Moreover, Blasco Library serves the poorest ZIP Code in the state and country and there will likely be a loss of services for these residents. As retired Erie School District teacher Johnny Johnson said: “The Library is the only institution that I deem as a place of equity in Erie County.”Today county government is giving away part of the public library. What public assets are next on the chopping block?

What can you do?SIGN THE PETITION and ask everyone you know to SIGN THE PETITION. Urge Gannon University leaders to exercise their moral and ethical responsibility to rescind the lease with Erie County.

Check out the links below to “Rennie urges citizens to oppose Gannon lease at Blasco” and a copy of the lease, as well as other news articles, photos, and video.

The five Erie County Council members who voted for this -- Shank, Winarski, Schauerman, Spagel and Bayle -- did not do their due diligence in protecting the financial interests of Erie County residents. Gannon University certainly ignored the "knowledge" part of its motto ("health, knowledge, holiness') by entering into this agreement without public input. Members of County Council are political players but as a Catholic university, Gannon's officials are expected to behave in an ethical manner. They did not do so with this stunt, which will prove to be costly in dollars and in, again, eroding public confidence in local leadership.

Signing this petition and contacting those involved in trying to take over the Blasco Public Library and take away your voice are two of the most important actions you can take to demonstrate that the Blasco Library belongs to everyone in Erie County and that you want your voices heard before Gannon and Erie County Council take away our rights!


Gannon allowed Brenton Davis and County Council to give away spaces in Blasco with only three business days notice and no public input. DON'T LET THEM SAY THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO CARE. If you have ever given of yourself for any community project, including parks, buildings, memorials, playgrounds, etc., this should make you worry. Should govt. be allowed to give away tomorrow what you left in their care yesterday? Hopefully not without discussing it first with you!

Link to Lease that GIVES AWAY portions of our PUBLIC LIBRARY to a Private Non-Profit

YourErie WJET coverage of demonstration on 12/10/23 link below.

Community Protestors Bring Grievances With Project NePTWNE to St Peter Cathedral Steps

Bishop Persico misses the point

Link below from WJET coverage of the rally at the Blasco Library

Link to video of county council meeting where none of the citizens questions and concerns mattered:

Mary Rennie and Susan Black in front of Saint Peter's Cathedral

Link to Mary Rennie urges citizens to oppose lease to Gannon:

Link to letter to the editor urging Gannon to seek another location:

We need to show County Council and Gannon there are more people against their decision to leave the public out and to give away our public library against our wishes.

“Your voice and your vote are the checks and balances of our democracy. We must not continue to be satisfied with being spectators who only look at the game, but we must be willing to become participants who are active and concerned about what is going on. - Johnny C. Johnson

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