Library levy campaign begins

About 20 people attended a campaign kickoff event Wednesday, July 7, at McComb Gardens for the proposed lift to the North Olympic Library System levy.

Jim Roberts, who is a member of the NOLS board but attended as part of the campaign team, said the Aug. 17 primary election ballot was chosen instead of the November general election ballot for a reason.

"We felt the election would be very confusing in November," he said. "We felt the August ballot would be less cluttered."

But pushing the vote up has forced organizers to come together quickly, he said.

Sign-up sheets at the meeting were for everything from writing letters to the editor to asking businesses to display campaign signs in support of the levy.

The proposed levy lift would increase the current levy of about 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation for collection in 2011. The levy would affect property countywide and needs 50 percent of the total vote to pass.

"It will pass because

Sequim is a great place to live," Margaret Lotzgesell said at the meeting. "We pass our school levies and we will pass this one, too."

Kate Adams, the campaign team leader, said radio interviews are scheduled at local stations and a Web site and Facebook page have been established for the campaign. The need for public outreach is great, she said.

"Surprising as it is, people still don't know this is going on," she said. "We need more people on their feet on the street helping out."

Roberts said the Sequim Library needs the levy to pass so it can operate on par with the needs of the community.

"Strong communities need strong libraries just like they need hospitals and schools," he said. "Without the needed resources, it will weaken and that will weaken Sequim."

Roberts said the library offers more than just books. It has DVDs, audio books, downloads online and extensive databases available to the public as well, he said.

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