Saturday, November 17, 2012

Financing district is logical next step for Jackson County libraries

Yarnbombing tag: "Vote for the Library" at Ashland Library
‘Vote for the Library,’ attached by an emissary to
a railing at the Ashland Library
My congratulations to Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) for successfully passing the Ashland Library levy in the November election.

I advocated its passage from a geographic distance that I hope to reduce.

I wonder if library administrators would now consider a permanent financing district, as approved during the November election in Multnomah County, Ore.

An article by Robert Plain, circa September 2007 in the Ashland Daily Tidings, cites endorsement by three Jackson County commissioners and former Ashland librarian Amy Blossom. Perhaps this idea should be revisited.

The Multnomah County financing district passed easily this November, according to an account by Dana Tims on
“‘This wasn’t a narrow victory, it was a resounding victory,’ said Jeff Cogen, Multnomah County commission chairman. ‘People in Multnomah County love their libraries, and they showed that tonight.’”

Like JCLS, Multnomah County has multiple branch libraries. The article states, the taxing district is expected to raise about $65 million annually. It replaces a series of three- and five-year levies that financed the system for 36 years:
“Formation of the district means the owner of a median-priced house in the county will pay $49 more per year -- from $156 to $205 -- than under the current temporary levy, which costs 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.”
I would gladly pay an extra $49 per year to permanently fund local libraries.

Once my family and I have successfully relocated, I will be in a position to communicate the advantages of a permanent financing district for Jackson County libraries.

Submitted as a letter to the editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings


  1. Nice article, Cynthia. The option of a financing district has been talked about extensively and I think it is great that Multnomah County has approved the financing. As for whether this would pass in Jackson County, you must keep in mind that the people in both counties vote differently. I found these results from the November Election very interesting:


  2. Well, the first thing that struck my attention was that Multnomah County voted overwhelmingly for Obama while the majority in Jackson County selected Romney for president. What did you find most illuminating about the election results?


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