2012 Election

Library Levy Passes; King County Juvenile Jail Levy Results Look Promising

By Erica C. Barnett August 7, 2012

The Seattle library levy---a seven-year, $123 million property tax measure to fund increased library hours and purchases of new library materials, among other improvements---is passing overwhelmingly, with the support of 61.79 percent of Seattle voters.

City council member Richard Conlin told PubliCola, "I think this is really going to change the way people think about our budget," which funds library operations in part through the general fund and in part through the universally-popular library levy. Without the funding for renewed library hours, computer upgrades, and collections, he added, "It becomes harder for people who are in the library looking for jobs or doing their homework because they can’t afford to have the Internet at home.

"There's that old saying: 'Libraries will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no libraries."

Meanwhile, in King County, a $210 million levy to replace the dangerous and crumbling Youth Services Center---the juvenile justice facility---appeared to be passing, although more narrowly than the library tax.

King County Council member Bob Ferguson (who's running as a Democrat for Attorney General) said, "Not only will safety and crowding be improved, but the new facility will unify juvenile and family law matters, providing onsite assistance and better coordination for youth and families in the justice system. Moreover, we can stop spending millions of dollars on the escalating maintenance costs of our current dilapidated facility."
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