First results showed Douglas County voters rejecting a proposed library district

Supporters said the district would have saved the county’s libraries, which they said are likely to close within the coming year without a district. Opponents objected to the 44 cents per $1,000 property tax that came with the district.

Results for Measure 10-145 released shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday, showed 55 percent of voters said “no” to the library district while 44 percent had voted in favor.

Save Our Libraries PAC member Robert Heilman called the vote discouraging.

“We have been at this for quite awhile, many years in fact, and we fully intend to keep trying to get adequate and sustainable funding for our library system. We believe very strongly that that’s the way to bring a more fruitful and brighter future to this county here,” Heilman said.

Heilman said he has no idea what the next step for the library will be.

Gerald Gindlesperger of Umpqua, who opposed the library measure, was glad to hear the voters rejected a district.

“I’m hoping that we can keep our libraries open. I’m hoping we can do that without taxing property. There needs to be another way out of this,” Gindlesperger said.

“My hope would be that we could get back into the woods and start getting receipts from our timber. I don’t know that that’s going to happen anytime soon, but that would be my preference,” he said.

He also suggested individual cities might be able to run their own libraries.

Library district supporter Rick Sohn, however, said that won’t be an effective solution.

A countywide system offered economies of scale, he said.

City run libraries would likely operate with volunteers, and hand-me-down books, he said.

“Clearly the voters are speaking, and we’re going to have to find a way to run the libraries. Libraries can’t run with volunteers any better than schools can run with volunteers,” Sohn said.

Sohn was disappointed by the vote.

“It’s very hard to see a way forward for a lot of the folks that worked on it at this point, but we know we want to do the best for our children,” Sohn said.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(6) comments

bandNERD

[crying] i cant find the date the library closes on, and i need it for a school newspaper article, Could someone please help me?

CCegavske Staff
CCegavske

Hi bandNERD, the libraries in towns outside of Roseburg will close April 1, while the Roseburg branch is tentatively scheduled to close the end of May. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading. :)
P.S. Band is cool.

mysteron

Douglas County strikes another vote for ignorance, stupidity and economic collapse. Enjoy your fewer services, more fees and economic collapse thanks to the Commissioners who have no clue on what to do. Will the last person please turn off the lights.

NaySayer

Mysteron must be kidding. The economy is already in the dump. How about this, let's have the library live within their budget just like the rest of responsible people do. They have plenty of budget to do reasonable things. Go read their budget and CAFR statement like I did. You'll find they are well-enough funded to take care of library business.

mysteron

NaySayer if you think you can fix the problem with less money then why don't you lay out your plan here, I'm sure a lot of people would be interested.

eltrk

You do realize that the budget will be $0 after this measure, right? The county is planning on closing all libraries. What sort of reasonable things do you think can be done then?

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