Lib Politics Rodeo February 17, 2016
We're starting this week's Rodeo highlighting John Chrastka and Rachel Korman's recent Library Journal Article: Constant Campaign | Budgets & Funding.
Starting off with some impressive statistics about the 2015 local library ballot ecosystem (nearly 150 libraries in 24 states held referenda to renew or enact taxes for operations, staffing, or facilities; 1.1 million voters showed up at the polls; over 650,000 people voted yes and nearly 470,000 voted no; of the 148 library ballot measures EveryLibrary identified 127 were won and 21 lost), the article continues on to offer insights into winning strategies for local ballot measures as well as the obstacles library supports often face during these ballot campaigns. Well worth the read!
And now, off to the races:
News from around the #libraries #politics world
A library development parcel tax in Oakley CA will be on the June 7 ballot to construct a new Oakley Library and Community Learning Center in the downtown. If passed, it will become a tax costing $7.75 monthly per parcel and it will last for 30 years. The new library will replace the current Oakley Library branch located on the local high school campus and is described as cramped. Local officials believe the ballot initiative will pass with two-thirds majority vote.
Voters in Woodstock Vermont will decide on March 1st if the library will be excused from paying taxes on their parking lot. The library rents out the lot as a revenue generator, and the measure would save the library a few thousand dollars annually.
Leaders in Moniteau County, Missouri have approved Proposition A, a levy increase to help fund Moniteau County Library. The tax increases will raise revenue by $9000 and will be used to offset the loss of state aid to the library. Missouri's state legislature recently cut library funding by $3.8 million, which represented 80 percent of state funding for public libraries. The Moniteau County Library Board and the County Comission are not expecting the state funding to be reinstated, and are hoping the levy increase will maintain current library funding efforts
The Friends of the Point Roberts Library (FOPRL) are actively examining their option to raise the funds for much needed library improvement. Having already raised over half a million dollars, the FOPRL is now working with the parks district to examine various options to generate revenue for the project. These options include a one-time levy, that the average property owner payment would be $50–$70. The friend's group is hoping construction will happen in late 2016 or early 2017.
In San Diego CA, a ballot measure is being proposed for the June Ballot that would revise San Diego's City Charter, including a plan to pay for future infrastructure projects. Local Councilmen David Alvarez and Todd Gloria opposed moving forward with crafting of the final ballot language, arguing the proposal is problematic. They claim it would not solve the infrastructure problem and it would have the negative outcome of locking up the general fund, which pays for basic city services such as public libraries, for decades to come.
That’s all for this week. Next week we will have a roundup of library political news stories. Happy trails!