Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 11:30 am.
On the Commissioners’ agenda for their meeting on 7/19 is a resolution to place a 1.0 mill Lake County Library District renewal levy on the November ballot.
“RESOLUTION TO PLACE A RENEWAL OF A ONE MILL (1.0 MILL) TAX LEVY ON REAL ESTATE WITHIN THE LAKE COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICT FOR NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAKE COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICT, ON THE BALLOT AT THE NOVEMBER 6, 2018, ELECTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 5705.23 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE (20180719\C01)(C-5)”
Here is the link to ORC section 5705.23: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5705.23
As a reminder, 1.0 mill costs the taxpayers $35 per year out of pocket for every $100,000 of home valuation.
Several months ago, we received from the County Auditor’s office the raw data on the Lake County real estate taxes billed for each political sub-division for the years 2008 versus 2018. The following schedule was prepared by LFC. Lake County RE Taxes 2008 vs 2018
Please look at page 2 where we have reported the increases and decreases of each library in Lake County. There has been an overall increase of 69% in taxpayers’ funding for Lake County libraries since 2008.
We will attend the public meeting today to try to answer the following questions:
- What is the Lake County Library District?
- Which libraries in Lake County benefit from the tax levy?
- If more than one library benefits, how much has been given to each library for the past 5 years?
- Why should we vote for this renewal?
- Does the Lake County Library District have any financial information that will demonstrate a need for the funding?
- Is this inside or outside millage?
- Which taxing districts are impacted by this levy?
We will report what we are told by the commissioners.
One has to wonder if public libraries in the future will be needed, or will there be a more efficient, cost effective method of providing the same service to the public.
Updated: July 20th, 11:30 am
Here are the answers we received from the Lake County Commissioner:
1. If a library requests to place a levy on the ballot, the commissioners are required to place it on the ballot according to the Ohio Revised Code. There is no oversight on the financial needs of the library, since the library has a Board of Trustees, and the Commissioners assume that they are watching the numbers.
2. The Lake County Library District is only the Morley Library. There are 8 library districts in Lake County.
These are the 7 that are tied to their respective school district: Mentor / Willoughby-Eastlake / Madison / Wickliffe / Perry Township / Kirtland / Fairport Harbor.
Morley Library is the only library in the Lake County Library District and the taxing districts that support it are: Painesville City, Painesville Township, Leroy, Grand River and Concord Township. There are 5 precincts in Concord Township that are in the Mentor School District, therefore, will not see the Morley Library levy on the November ballot. They are precincts D,E,H,J,K.
3. One major issue that we learned at the meeting was that the Library Trustees, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make this 1 mill renewal levy as continuous levy. Please remember that “continuous” means “forever”, and the Trustees do not have to come back to the taxpayers for additional approval on this levy. (LFC Comment: We view this tactic as the Trustees “thumbing their nose” at the taxpayers, hoping that the taxpayers do not catch on to their treachery)
When the Library Director, Aurora Martinez, was asked by the Commissioners why they decided to make this a continuous levy, her response was that other library districts have been doing it, and it will help with their planning.
I spoke at the meeting, and asked the Commissioners for five years worth of financial statements for the Morley Library. I was told that I would have to ask them directly.
I also indicated that we had previously called out the Morley Library trustees for their violation of Title 8, Section 1324 of the U.S. Immigration Law – Aiding and Abetting Illegal Aliens. Here is the letter that I sent to Aurora Martinez in 2017 on this subject……Morley Library Board _3-1-17 revised
Here is our email to Aurora Martinez requesting the 5 years worth of financial statements.
Ms. Aurora Martinez: