Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tale Of Two Counties

Faced with the same sort of budgetary crisis, Josephine County too had a Library Levy on the November 7, 2006, ballot:
QUESTION: Shall Josephine County Library District be formed with permanent rate limit of $0.55 per $1,000 of Assessed Value Beginning 2007/2008?
Their voters' answer was nearly identical to ours:
    17-16 PROPOSED JOSEPHINE CTY. LIBRARY DIST.
Yes . . . . . . 13,661 42.94%
No. . . . . . . 18,155 57.06%
Total . . . 31,816
Over Votes . . . 32
Under Votes . . . 1,437
But Josephine County's response was very different:
The 2006-07 budget submitted to the Board of County Commissioners reflects a 50% reduction in funding from the County.

Beginning July 1, 2006 reductions would include reduction of the Williams and Wolf Creek Branch libraries currently open 3 days/12 hours a week to 1 day/4 hours a week. The Main Library in Grants Pass would be reduced from 5 days/31 hours to 3 days/15 hours a week. The Illinois Valley Branch would be reduced from 4 days/20 hours to 2 days/10 hours a week. Library staffing will be reduced from 14.07 FTE to 4.5 FTE. Library services including reference services, children's programming, public Internet access, phone interactions would be eliminated or reduced.
In Josephine County, apparently, the people rule and the government obeys.

In Jackson County the roles are reversed.