Cities, towns won't forward library issue to Legislature - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Cities, towns won't forward library issue to Legislature

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Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 11:00 pm

It wasn't a great week for supporters of the Oro Valley Public Library.

First, a plea for a larger reimbursement for the town library was shot down by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 1. Later last week, the Arizona League of Arizona Cities and Towns declined to lobby on behalf of changes to library laws.

The league, which held its annual convention in Oro Valley, decided on numerous resolutions its members want the organization to push in the next legislative session.

Member cities and towns voted on several proposals, including one to allow municipalities to opt out of county-run library districts and start their own with secondary taxing authority. Members rejected the library proposal.

Earlier in the week, the Pima County Board of Supervisors heard from a contingent from Oro Valley for nearly an hour. The group requested a larger reimbursement from the county for town library operations.

Oro Valley's library operates as an affiliate to the county system. It's the only library in the county with that distinction.

The supervisors rejected the call, and instead voted to oppose any efforts that would allow Oro Valley to secede from the county library system.

Oro Valley resident Doug McKee, who headed up a library review committee earlier this year, made the case for more money from the county. McKee said that, in 2004, the county reimbursement for the town's library totaled 60 percent of operating costs. "Now that has dropped to half that," McKee said.

Oro Valley resident and Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library member Jayne Kuennemeier said the friends group had raised more that $500,000 for the library in recent years, much of the money going toward the purchase of books. An issue for many in the friends has been whether those books remain in Oro Valley or get distributed into the countywide system.

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