January 26, 2010 · 4:22 PM
Times are tough, and our public institutions are making tough budgetary decisions. Our King County Library System is asking us to restore $1.9 million, taken out of the operating budget in 2009, through a one-year levy rate increase in 2011. That money will allow the system to maintain its current level of services. A “no” vote will mean 10 to 15 percent cuts across the organization, resulting in overall decreased services. As a frequent library user of the third busiest library system in the U.S., I can attest to the tremendous resources and services available through KCLS. Most of you probably appreciate our libraries as well, since “nearly 90 percent of the 1.2 million residents in KCLS’s service area have a library card (source: KCLS.) In difficult economic times, the library is the one place that turns no one away, and our librarians serve everyone who comes through its doors. As our economy has plummeted, the library has seen a dramatic increase in all its services as people try to do more with less. Many more people are also using the library to get help re-entering a difficult job market.
The phrase “tax increase” is not a particularly popular one these days, but this is one increase that is worth every dollar. I hope you will join me in preserving one of our most valuable resources. Please vote “yes” on Proposition 1.