Letters to the Editor

Levy: Why voters face two library measures

Sept. 14, registered voters residing in the North Whidbey area will be asked to vote on two ballot measures for a new regional library. To help in understanding the reason why two measures are necessary, the following information is offered.

In 1995 the Washington State Legislature found..."that it is in the interest of the people of the state of Washington to be able to establish library capital facility areas (LCFA) as quasi-municipal corporations and independent taxing units... ‘Library district’ means rural county library district..or island library district." (RCW 27.15.010). This piece of legislation (RCW 27.15.005) was designed to allow citizens in rural areas to create a library district in order to build a facility to serve the people residing in that area. To establish this LCFA a yes vote for the first measure is required.

Once the LCFA is established, another yes vote is required for the second measure in order to finance the construction of the capital facility. The second measure addresses the means by which the capital facility construction will be financed. RCW 27.15.050 states as follows: "A library capital facility area (LCFA) may contract indebtedness or borrow money to finance the library capital facilities and may issue general obligation bonds for such purpose."

It is important to know that the ballot measures are only for establishing a library area and for financing library construction. They cannot be used for any other capital facility. Once the obligations issued by the library capital facility area are met it may be dissolved. RCW 27.15.060 reads as follows: "A library capital facility area may be dissolved by a majority vote of the governing body when all obligations under any general obligation bonds issued by the library capital facility area have...been discharged..." The governing body of the LCFA (RCW 27.15.030) ..."shall be three members of the county legislative authority from each county in which the library capital facility is located." The three county commissioners for Island County constitute the governing body for the library capital facility area the voters are asked to establish Sept. 14.

Kathleen Shaw

Oak Harbor Library Board

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