Mohave County Election 2016: Libraries

Updated 7/29/16:

The Meadview library is only open 3 days/week, 5 hours/day.  Apparently a 1/4 cent sales tax proposed by Supervisor Jean Bishop was rejected by the other supervisors [denied by Bishop below] .

Do the other districts not have problems with their libraries?

Are they only open 3 days/week for 5 hrs/day?

Do they have more funds?

More volunteers?

I searched for more info and found the Chino Valley Friends of the Library website.  What’s up with the Dolan and Meadview Friends of the Library?  Why aren’t they raising hell to keep their libraries open? All I see is total indifference.

Donna Wickert (Dolan Springs) was telling me on Facebook about the libraries:

Donna Wickerd: You should talk to the administrators of the county libraries  … the community ones may not continue to exist much longer. You definitely should talk to the library admin about funding last year, this year and next year. Trust me you will not like what you hear.

Christine Baker:  could you please post the link to the page with what’s going on with library funding.

Donna Wickerd:  My info comes directly from county employees. There is no page because the supervisors are not proud of what they did. You will have to talk to the library admin if you want the full truth and not the gift wrapped version.

Donna Wickerd: They had an emergency fund and were forced to use half this year and half last year for operations. Unless their funding is restored they will be forced to take drastic measures next year. Bishop proposed a 1/4 cent sales tax increase to avoid cutting the library but the other four refused to support it. Also, we are paying for Mohave Valley to.stay open full.time with the least circulation of all the community libraries while the others are having programs cut and are only open part time hours. Its a scandal LOL

Donna Wickerd: That Mohave Valley library is Steven Moss’s baby … so it gets funded no matter how little it gets used.

The problem with Donna Wickerd’s claims is that they are usually greatly exaggerated, she never provides ANY documentation and she can’t do basic math. And that is the problem with Facebook in general — chat, rants, exaggerations, lies and bla bla bla bla bla bla.

So what’s REALLY going on with the libraries?

Apparently a 1/4 cent sales tax proposed by Chairman Jean Bishop was rejected by the other supervisors.

On 7/27/16 Chairman Bishop wrote to me in response to my questions:

The BOS intends to maintain the Library District tax rate of $0.2236 per $100 of assessed value for fiscal year 2017. No change in service.

Re: the proposed ¼ sales tax. I believe we need to continue to keep our county government lean and look for ways to reduce cost. This year’s county budget is comparable to that of 2008, we have the 10th lowest property taxes in Arizona out of 15 counties and we are the lowest in sales tax! Mohave County ties in 4th place if those taxes were combined so I think we have managed to weather the storm of the economic downturn by cutting expenses with minimal disruption in services such as libraries and roads.

As the economy continues to improve throughout Arizona, the County expects that the “cost shifts” imposed by the state will abate, providing additional funds to repair and improve County infrastructure (such as roads) and for other critical expenditures

7/28/18: My follow up questions to Chairman Bishop, the other candidates or anyone else who has some answers:

  • Will library services / budgets be cut?
  • Who is right, Donna or Chairman Bishop?
  • How much would it cost to have the Meadview library open 5 days/week for 7 hours?

From Facebook:

Steven Robinson: Jean Bishop recommended a $7 Million Sales Tax increase.

  • I’d like to see the MATH behind the 1/4 cent sales tax increase and since Chairman Bishop allegedly requested this sales tax increase (I don’t see that mentioned in her comments above or on any of her websites), I’m wondering what’s really going on.  Did she ask for the sales tax increase and if so, she must have had a REASON, including the budgets, knowledge of financial problems, etc.   I sure hope these figures aren’t classified!
  • How much money do the libraries need to be open at least 5 days a week for 7 hours?

7/29/16:  Chairman Jean Bishop: 

I would suggest you contact the Library Director Kathy Pennell  for more specific information regarding Mohave County Libraries.  She can be reached at 928 692-5763.   The library has a healthy fund balance and no changes are proposed in this budget year.

To answer your question regarding my proposal, I did not propose the ¼ cent consumption tax/reduction of property tax this budget year as there is currently a split board on the subject.

I talked to Kathy Pennell and she assured me that the libraries would continue to be open 15 hrs/week, they are using “contingency funds” to continue operations, are cutting back on special programs, but she’s fine with the current budget.

I don’t know who Donna Wickert talked to and she has not submitted any further comments. 

This is a FACT FINDING MISSION and I will add the candidates’ responses as well as other relevant info submitted through comments to this post so that Mohave County voters as well as people who might want to move here can make educated decisions.

8/7/16:  I believe that the importance of libraries was only mention by Krystal Garbrielson (at least twice) at the 8/1/16 Candidate Forum.

You can watch over 2 hours of video from the forum.

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