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City attorney prudent on library vote issue
The suggestion has been made that our City Attorney is improperly preventing a vote by Islanders on whether or not to create a new library system on Mercer Island. (See www.mi-reporter.com/opinion/letters/268805611.html.)That is absolutely incorrect. Instead, our City Attorney is working to ensure that we do not race to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a vote before we know if the vote would be meaningful or meaningless.
The vote being requested is whether to start a new library system on Mercer Island. Since we are already part of the King County Library System, the immediate question any lawyer can and should ask is whether one can create a new library system without first withdrawing from KCLS.
Even if the requested vote did occur and Islanders voted to create a new library system, the law is very clear that a separate vote would then need to be held on whether to leave KCLS and another vote then held on providing funding for the new library system.
With each vote estimated to cost between $40,000 and $80,000 of Mercer Island taxpayer money, we believe all Islanders deserve the benefit of sound legal advice before that much money is spent in this matter. We fully support our City Attorney’s efforts to protect the interests of Mercer Island taxpayers and ensure that if there is a vote that will be held, it is the right vote.
Mayor and Deputy Mayors,
City of Mercer Island