By Wendy Leung Staff Writer
Created: 05/13/2011 03:39:08 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – News of former Supervisor Paul Biane’s arrest Tuesday has sparked discussions over the fate of the city’s newest library – the Paul A. Biane Library.

Biane, who served on the City Council for eight years before joining the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, helped steer $1 million in county funds to the Victoria Gardens library. In 2006, the City Council agreed to name the library after Biane.

On Tuesday, Biane was arrested at the L.A./Ontario International Airport after returning from an Arizona trip. Authorities considered him a fugitive for 10 hours before taking him into custody.

Biane faces charges of misappropriation of public funds, filing a fraudulent tax return, perjury, filing a false instrument and two counts of bribery. The felony charges are related to the $102 million Colonies settlement, which Biane voted for in 2006.

On Wednesday at its regular meeting, the City Council will review its naming rights policy for public facilities. The council is not expected to take any action.

Councilman Bill Alexander said he would like to discuss renaming the Biane Library.

“I think it would be a good idea,” he said.

When the senior center opened, Alexander was among those on the council who agreed to name it after former state Sen. James Brulte.

“As we look back on it now, naming things for political reasons is not the right thing to do,” Alexander said.

But Councilwoman Diane Williams said now is not the appropriate time to discuss renaming the library.

“Maybe later,” she said.

“It’s unfair to label him a convicted felon,” Councilman Sam Spagnolo said about Biane. “We’re going to talk about the policy, not talk about specifics.”

A teen room at the library is named for Burum and his wife, Kellie.

According to the current policy, the city could terminate the naming rights agreement should the sponsor be convicted of a crime.

When the city was soliciting funds for the construction of the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center – which includes a theater, library and meeting space – it created a policy that would give naming rights to donors at the $1 million level.

Between 2004 to 2006, Biane steered a total of $1 million of county discretionary funding and Community Development Block Grant funding to the library. According to a 2006 staff report from former Library Director Deborah Clark, Biane had made the request for the library be named after him.

“I don’t recall having any real consternation about it,” said Williams. “With the current economic situation, I’m not sure – if we’d have a choice – we’d do the same thing today.”

Williams said she is not comfortable naming a public building after a person who is still alive but on the other hand, it would be hard in these cash-strapped times to refuse donations.

“Without the mighty dollar, you cannot service your citizens,” Williams said. “If we didn’t go out begging for money for the Cultural Center, we’d still have a library but of less quality than it is now. I don’t know … it’s a terrible quandary.”

The library and senior center are hardly the only facilities named after politicians who have yet cemented their legacies.

Rancho Cucamonga’s Central Park has a meeting space named after Congressman David Dreier. Pomona has a community center named after Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. In Rialto, a park is named after Jerry Eaves, the former county supervisor who pleaded guilty to a felony count of conflict of interest.

Many more facilities are named after private donors. The Cultural Center courtyard is named after Bank of America and the Cultural Center playhouse is named after the Lewises, a prominent family of developers.

To read entire story, click here.