The chamber was tense this afternoon as the Board of Supervisors decided to go along with the community and support the public having a voice on the future of our libraries. In a three-to-two vote, the board voted to put a one-eighth cent sales tax on the June 7 ballot. Two of the supervisors voting in favor warned that should the measure fail, they would support issuing a Request for Information (RFI) for a private entity to operate the library.
Supervisor Perez opened the comments with an acknowledgement of the wonderful staff and the community that had already put thousands of hours into supporting our libraries. Her motion failed to gain a second until the last speaker, Supervisor Maggard, spoke. Both he and Supervisor Gleason spent time saying that their support was only due to extraordinary circumstances and that they would not ordinarily support any tax measure.
The measure will require 66.6% of the vote to pass, and currently support among high-propensity voters in Kern County is only at 55 to 60%. As Jason Phillips from Employers’ Training Resource said, “Okay, folks. Time for us all to go to work.”