Hot Topic of the Bookworm Tax Proposal – The Ukiah Daily Journal

Quick water and weather report

Currently, Lake Mendocino has 43,232 acre feet behind the dam with an overall capacity of 118,000 acre feet, which means it is about 37% “full”.

According to this press release from the Sonoma Water Agency, (and believe it or not) “the Lake Mendocino watershed is in a ‘normal’ water supply state and so we need to respond to increased minimum flow requirements in the Russian River – this means we have to increase the flows in Lake Mendocino We beg to disagree with our water rights permits, and so in mid-November asked to the State Water Resources Control Board to change this so that we can save water from Lake Mendocino during this persistent drought.The State Water Board has approved our petition and as of February 1, the state of the water supply will almost certainly go to “dry” unless a big storm hits before – which is not expected. So, in short, Sonoma Water acted proactively at the end of the l last year to save Lake Mendocino water based on our permits s of water rights and we will continue to work proactively with our fellow regulators to save our community’s water in our reservoirs!

It looks like the next chance of rain is mid-February, when it could also snow.

Our current rainfall in the Laytonville area for the year is 36.90 inches compared to the historical average of 38.60 inches at this time of year. The historic annual rainfall for Laytonville is 67 inches. On this date last year, during the historic drought, we had 19.55 inches of precipitation and ended up with a total rainfall of only 29 inches, the lowest on record. Previously, we knew our aquifer would recharge if we received half, or about 32 inches to 33 inches, of our historical average of 67 inches of precipitation. Last year it reloaded to 29 inches, which is new data and also good news because we already have almost 37 inches.

Tax proposal for bookworms

I recently reported that supporters of the Mendocino County Library informed me of their intention to circulate petitions to impose a tax measure on the November 2022 ballot that would add a quarter-cent sales tax (0.25%) to fund Mendocino County Libraries. Almost every town in this county has a “Friends of the Library” group that works, organizes, and raises funds to establish physical libraries throughout the county. My daughter is a founding member of the Laytonville Library Group.

Two weeks ago, this article prompted a number of readers to respond expressing concerns about the proposed election initiative.

Last week, after a follow-up report on the library issue, more comments came in, including one from Linda Bailey who originally opposed the tax proposal but now supports it.

As I have pointed out, the proposed measure contains a lock-in provision which specifies:

• The imposition of a permanent one-quarter cent (0.25%) sales tax for the specific purpose of maintaining and improving library services in Mendocino County; and

• The creation of a special fund so that these tax revenues are used exclusively for the maintenance and improvement of library services. At least forty percent (40 percent) is reserved for capital investments, such as building improvements.

Here are the new answers.

Linda Bailey January 24, 2022: I was an advocate for increased tax support for the county library, both for the package tax failure and for the success of Measure A. However, I will not support this tax proposal unless and until the library is structured in accordance with the statute governing free county libraries. It is currently treated as a department of the county for command and control by the CEO and as a special district, which it is legally, for financial accounting. This hybrid model deprives the county librarian of the ability to purchase equipment based on their needs. professional judgement; for example, three designs for the new loan office in Ukiah were submitted before the CEO gave her approval. Importantly, this arrangement also allows the CEO to siphon off library funds for county staff via an A87 fee — check out the latest budget. Requiring equipment purchases to be made through the GSA (in the CEO’s office) not only prevents the librarian from potential savings, but also allows the library to be billed for any time a county employee spends at process the purchase.

Linda Bailey January 29, 2022: RETRACT: Contrary to my previous comments, I will support and promote a permanent 1/2% sales tax for the county library.

Fortunately, I woke up this morning more sane. Sales tax is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to the survival of our county libraries. The dedicated property tax is simply not enough to keep the doors open.

An institution with a few bureaucratic warts is much better than no institution at all. You would have to wait a long time for perfection. The closure of our libraries would be a great loss for all county residents.

I urge everyone to support this sales tax.

George Dorner: I don’t like to oppose other library lovers, but I maintain my position. Dedicated funding that does not reach the library is just as good to the library as no funding. And, given past history, it’s unlikely that increased funding won’t be used for cannabis control, or outsourced legal advice, or whatever. I say nonsense, because no one is about to confide where the funds really go in such a case.

Lazare: Another extra tax, all you have to do is turn to measure B waste. Millions have been blown out of a five million house, which might be worth a million. Now 20 mil+ on a psychiatric health facility in the sky. The problem with these tax measures is that those who spend the money are not money people. Most are long-serving institutionalized civil servants. It will pay more in retirement than they do now. With that coming in their future, no matter what things cost. His only money is philosophy and it cost what it cost. Libraries were once an indispensable facility. But in today’s crazy internet world, libraries are the dinosaurs of knowledge. As long as the Internet exists, there is no need for the masses. Granted for the poor, in the development of third world type places, the need is there. But in today’s modern society, not so much. Keep them open, but do it another way. Take a few dollars off overpaid government benefactors and others who would rather spend/waste your money than theirs. Until it is proven that the government has earned my trust to spend wisely, I am voting NO on all so-called tax measures. Thank you, Measure B, for the painful education.

John McCowen: “The Grand Jury report referred to here is from 2015. Following its release, Supervisor Gjerde and I were appointed to an ad hoc committee to investigate and make a recommendation to the Supervisory Board. We have determined that the Grand Jury was correct and that A-87 costs were erroneously applied to library capital assets funded by grants, donations, or dedicated library funds. The fees applied in error amounted to approximately $100,000 over several years and were refunded in full and with interest. The small amount of property tax increase dedicated to the library is not enough to fund the current level of operations. Renewing the current 1/8 cent sales tax (and ideally increasing it to 1/8 cent) is essential if we want our libraries to be centers of education and community involvement. The proposed 1/8 cent increase will be more than offset when the Measure B sales tax is reduced from 1/2 cent to 1/8 cent early next year. The library tax is a special tax, requiring a 2/3 vote and, by law, can only be spent on library services and operations. “

Jim Shields is the editor and publisher of the Mendocino County Observer, observer@pacific.net, the longtime district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the City Area Advisory Board of Laytonville. Listen to his radio show “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also broadcast live: http://www.kpfn.org

Jessica C. Bell