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Purpose of Meetings What is Save Jeffco Libraries? What’s the problem? How did we get here? What’s the solution? What are we doing about it? Where do we.

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Presentation on theme: "Purpose of Meetings What is Save Jeffco Libraries? What’s the problem? How did we get here? What’s the solution? What are we doing about it? Where do we."— Presentation transcript:

1 Purpose of Meetings What is Save Jeffco Libraries? What’s the problem? How did we get here? What’s the solution? What are we doing about it? Where do we go from here?

2 About Save Jeffco Libraries A grassroots initiative Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) patrons Many former Library Trustees Concerned about the Library’s funding and independence Believe creation of a library district is the solution

3 About Save Jeffco Libraries Not affiliated with JCPL, its Board of Trustees, Jefferson County Library Foundation, or Friends of the Library Registered with State of Colorado as a nonprofit Operated by volunteers Funded by donations

4 Jefferson County Public Library

5 About Your Library Serves Jeffco residents through –10 libraries –>300 Online Computer Workstations –Mobile computer training lab –Bookmobile –Traveling Children’s Library –Homebound delivery 2011 budget: $25.6 million Funded by Property Tax mill levy voted on in a 1986 election

6 What’s the Problem? Commissioners have taken $6 million of library tax revenues past 5 years Next year: >$2 million short Closing Mondays saved $650,000/yr Library closing(s) and further service cuts are almost certain

7 Available Reserve Fund Balance Voter Authorized 3.5 mills County at (current) Data updated per JCPL Long-Range Financial Plan dated

8 History of Funding Issues Voters approve Library property tax County begins taking $1/2 Million/yr From library tax levy $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Libraries Close Mondays County “Shifts” $1 1/2 Million From library tax levy Cut Staff, Close 1 or more Libraries

9 History of Funding Issues Outsourced Services –Payroll, Human Resources, Legal, Insurance –All services are outsourced voluntarily by the Library Board

10 History of Funding Issues Outsourced Services –Charges by the County 2006: $418, : $858,088 –Library estimates outsourcing to private industry would save at least $300,000/yr

11 Problem Summary In 1986 we voted to fund the library with a dedicated tax levy County Commissioners are taking millions of dollars from that tax levy for other uses Result: Libraries are closed Mondays and threatened with much deeper cuts Libraries could be forced to CLOSE

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13 The Solution: Make JCPL a Library District Funded with existing voter-approved property tax levy Removes county authority to change the mill levy Long-term solution –Not just restoring the mill levy –Allows the Library to focus on its mission without political influence

14 About Library Districts 54 Colorado public libraries are districts Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins Districts are among most effective and efficient libraries in the state Funded by the same property tax levy but the revenue goes direct to the library Focus on library’s mission without political influence

15 Governance Comparison JCPL Commissioners appoint Library Board Library Board has exclusive spending and budget authority Library employees work for the Library Board, not for the County All Library property owned by Library Board Library District Same The Library Board of Trustees is the governing body for both JCPL and a Library District

16 Funding Comparison JCPL Commissioners set mill levy and appropriate funding Tax levy varies according to County priorities Vehicle Ownership Tax at Commissioners’ discretion Overcharged for Outsourced Services Long-term budget planning unreliable Library District Library Board sets mill levy and appropriates funding Tax levy at voter-approved 3.5 mills Vehicle Ownership Tax guaranteed by law $300K/yr saved by outsourcing to private industry Budget planning secure and reliable

17 Library Board Conclusion 3-year study concluded in 2008: “We strongly believe operating as a library district is the only way to ensure that your library remains financially viable, responsive and relevant for the foreseeable future.”

18 Endorsements 12 former JCPL Trustees with a combined total of more than 100 man-years on Library Board Fmr. JCPL Exec. Director Marcellus Turner Fmr. JCPL Exec. Director William Knott Fmr. Lakewood Mayor Steve Burkholder Fmr. Representative Gwyn Green Douglas Co. Lib. Director James Larue Arapahoe Co. Lib. Director Eloise May

19 How Do We Get There? County Commissioners –By Resolution or Election –Library Board tried in 2008, Commissioners refused –Unwilling to give up the “cash cow” Voters and Taxpayers Petition

20 Petition Colorado Library Law gives taxpayers the right to petition for creation of district C.R.S (3) We filed a petition in January with 1,300 signatures, more than ten times required number

21 Petition Library Law gives the commissioners two choices: –Create the district by resolution –Schedule it on the next general election ballot Commissioners voted to exclude the entire County from the district, leaving no property and no voters, therefore no election

22 Petition We had no choice but to sue –Without a suit, Jeffco would never have a library district –State-wide implications Lawsuit filed February 2011

23 Lawsuit Status If Court finds for County, there will be no district If Court finds for petitioners, County must: –Create library district by resolution, or –Schedule it for an election Lawsuit would be withdrawn if Commissioners comply with Colorado Library Law

24 District Solution Not Just A Mill Levy District is a long-term funding solution that respects the will of the voters A temporary increase in the Library mill levy by the Commissioners is not a long-term solution

25 How You Can Help Sign Statement of Support and register for updates at Commissioners at Library Board at Tell them you want JCPL to become a library district

26 How You Can Help Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Ask your friends and family in Jeffco to support library district formation Be prepared to VOTE for formation of the Jeffco Library District

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28 BOCC Letter to Library Board November 23, 2009 Dear Library Trustees: … As we have explained, we are considering shifting a portion of the library mill levy in order to meet this increase in demand on our social services programs. As you point out, the voters have approved a mill levy for the library of up to 3.5 mills. We are considering a reduction from last year’s mills to mills. This reduction would allow us to address primary needs for food and shelter for our most vulnerable citizens. … Sincerely, BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS J. Kevin McCasky Chairman Faye Griffin Kathy Hartman

29 Library Law C.R.S (3)(d) “Upon receipt of such petition, the legislative body or bodies shall either establish the library by resolution or ordinance, in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, or shall submit the question of the establishment of a public library to a vote of the registered electors…”


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