Spotlight on Timberland Regional Library

August 10th, 2010 by Ken

They don’t televise meetings.

They conduct public business in secret.

They give Thurston County, with over half the district’s population, only two of seven board votes.

They spend nearly a million dollars more on staff in the other four counties than in Thurston County even though Thurston County contributes nearly 55 percent of the property taxes collected by the district.

They provide library buildings free in the other counties, but charge Yelm rent for the only library provided by Timberland in Thurston County.

They have a board that does not connect the library community to the general public.  The result is failure of the public to support library property tax levies.

Most recently they have failed twice in attempts to fill the vacancy of library director even after lowering the qualifications and increasing the salary, about $20,000 more than the previous director.

A change in the governance structure of Timberland is indicated.  The minimum change needed is fair representation on the Timberland board and a board more directly responsible to the property owners that pay the library taxes.

The Timberland library district is the only one of the five multi-county library districts in Washington State that has a county (Thurston) with over half the population and less than half the votes.

(The above information was complied by Ken Bragg, a former member of the Thurston Regional Library Board)

Posted in Government, Informational, The Real News

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