Kent Public Library Petition
Kent Public Library board members and other volunteers are now collecting signatures from Kent registered voters on petitions to put a referendum question on library funding on the ballot in November. In the last 13 years, inflation has increased by 22%, while the library appropriation from the Town of Kent has increased by only 1/2 of 1%. The library board has worked hard to contain costs but feels that it is now necessary to approach Kent voters for an increase. The referendum will ask for an average increase of $6.01 per household based on an average home value of $255,000. This will bring the amount the average Kent household spends in taxes for the library from $80.15 up to $86.16 per year. The petition asks only that the library Board’s funding request be put on the ballot. The voters will then have the opportunity to vote for or against it in November. The Library Board has until June 18 to collect at least 700 signatures.
Volunteers will be in the library to collect signatures on Saturday June 1 from 10 to 3, Monday the 2nd from 3 to 5:30, Tuesday the 4th from 10 to 12:30, Wednesday the 5th from 10 to 12:30 and 5:30 to 8, Thursday the 6th and Friday the 7th from 10 to 12:30, Saturday the 8th from 10 to 2, Monday the 10th from 3 to 8, Tuesday the 11th, Wednesday the 12th, Friday the 14th, Saturday the 15th, and Monday the 17th from 10 to 12:30 . Library staff are not allowed to collect signatures during the other hours when the library is open.
Library Trustee Beth Herr stated that “the library is a vital hub for our community. Keeping it adequately funded assures fine programing, accessible services, and makes Kent more attractive to newcomers.”
Library Treasurer Otto Rominino added that “it’s great to see so many parents bring their preschoolers for “Story Time” at the Kent Public Library. That’s where learning begins.”
Board President Michael Mahoney commented that “library patrons saved over 1.4 million dollars a year by using the Kent Public Library. Patrons of all ages have benefited from the library’s expanded program offerings, its added space for programs and meetings, its electronic resources, and so many other services. We are proud of our library staff and the services we provide to the people of Kent. We continue to be thankful for the town’s support, funds secured and donated by the Friends of the Kent library and grants from New York state but in order to plan for the future and rely on an adequate, sustainable source of funding, it is time for the people of Kent to vote on the library’s budget.”