Lib Politics Rodeo February 10th, 2014
Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo.
Every Monday we will round up the previous week’s news on library politics and highlight some of the things that we are following or reading. Here’s what we have in our lassos this week...
This week we have a few updates on Rodeo stories from the past. In Birmingham (MI), we reported in the December 9th Rodeo that this was already on the ballot for May, but that there was a chance that this measure could be reconsidered. And it looks like that is now happening. The City Commission will decide this week whether to put a $21.5 million proposal to upgrade the Baldwin Public Library on the May ballot or not. Some of the commissioners are questioning the cost. However, there seems to be strong support for letting the voters decide. In the January 13th Rodeo we mentioned that the Cornelius Library (OR) was considering bringing back a ballot measure from November 2013 that was defeated by a very small voter margin. Well, the Cornelius City Council voted to put that library bond measure back on the ballot in May 2014. The measure is very much the same to what voters saw last November, $2.4 million in general obligation bonds that will be funded through a property tax. Also ballots went out to Winfield (KS) residents last Friday asking voters to approve a .4 percent sales tax increase that would fund the library and other capital projects. $900,000 will be set aside to pay for a library renovation that will include “upgrades to library meeting spaces, bathrooms and areas for children’s and teen’s collections.” We're hopeful for a win in Winfield.
Ohio has two more library measures on the ballot for this year. The Tuscarawas County Public Library (OH) will have a 1-mill levy on the May ballot. This levy increase is needed because State aid has been declining and funding was lost in the recession due to declining property values. Their current level of funding matches what they had in 1998 (15 years ago). The library has already tried to reduce costs by cutting hours, staffing, and streamlines their operations. The North Ridgeville library will also have a measure on the May ballot. A 1.91-mill levy that is a renewal of a levy passed in 2009. The levy raises about 1.2 million per year for the library and will last 5 years. The current levy expires at the end of 2014.
Meanwhile in California, the Marin County Libraries will have a 9 year $49 annual parcel tax on their June ballot. This renews a library tax that expires in 2015.
The measure needs two-thirds of the voter approval to pass. This is expected to bring in about 2.5 million annually in library funding and without it the library hours, staff, and services would suffer.
Thank you for following the Lib Politics Rodeo. We hope you will consider supporting EveryLibrary. Your donations can help us do several great things for libraries during election time. Help us help libraries have a successful and well funded year in 2014. In 2013, every $1 we spent on campaigns helped libraries secure $1,450 at the ballot box. That is $8.75 million in stable tax revenue for library collections, programs, hours, and staff. Even $5 can go a very long way. Donate now.
That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!