Pima supervisors reject OV call for more library funds - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Pima supervisors reject OV call for more library funds

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Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 11:00 pm

Pleas from Oro Valley residents for a larger reimbursement for the town library were shot down by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The supervisors, who listened to a contingent from Oro Valley for nearly an hour, voted to keep the county's reimbursement toward the Oro Valley library as it is, and 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.

McKee also made a case for the Oro Valley library as an example of excellence in a system he described as otherwise "adequate."

"It's almost a law of physics that a large organization equates to average performance," McKee said.

Oro Valley resident and Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library member Jayne Kuennemeier also made the case for the Oro Valley Public Library.

After the presentations were through, Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Elias criticized the OV cadre, calling the proposals for greater reimbursement and autonomy "elitist."

"What we have been listening to here is an elitist argument," Elias said.

He would not support giving the town more county reimbursement funding, nor would he support a move to allow the library to break away from the county system.

"While I recognize that your community has affluence, that doesn't give you intellectual superiority," Elias said.

The chairman moved to have the county oppose expanded reimbursements, and oppose any move by Oro Valley or other communities to make changes in state laws governing libraries.

"My recommendation is to oppose this, and the proposed legislation," County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said. He said Oro Valley's affiliate status in the county system could be maintained, with any changes possible through specialized intergovernmental agreement.

Supervisors Ann Day and Ray Carroll voted against the motion, while Elias, Sharon Bronson and Ramon Valadez supported the move.

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