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Libraries: Council Vote Against Annual Tax

August 25, 1994

On July 26, the Hermosa Beach City Council wisely voted not to buy into the latest project promoted by the Los Angeles County Public Library system. The plan would impose a yearly tax of about $30 on each Hermosa Beach homeowner. The county claims that for this amount, about $300,000, added to the $304,000 we already contribute yearly for library service, the Hermosa Beach library could go back to full-time service.

Well, I guess it could. Our Hermosa Beach city manager, Steve Burrell, has determined that the amount needed to run our library five days, 40 hours a week is about half the $600,000 the county is asking. Why double the tax on Hermosa Beach homeowners to raise more money than is needed? A respected representative of the county library system has admitted publicly that Hermosa Beach is one of two local cities where more taxes are collected than are spent on library services.

Also, we commend the City Council action to pursue withdrawal from the L.A. County library system, to set up an independent library, to affiliate with other local independent libraries (Redondo Beach, El Segundo and Torrance), as recommended by the City Council library subcommittee and supported by the Hermosa Beach Friends of the Library.

CHARLOTTE MALONE

Hermosa Beach

Charlotte Malone is chairwoman of the library affiliation subcommittee of the Hermosa Beach Friends of the Library.

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Several local cities are considering use of an additional tax to help fund their libraries. We tried that in Palos Verdes.

We voted to tax ourselves to expand our library through use of a multimillion-dollar bond issue along with a tax on our parcels for the next 20 years or so.

But we got more than we expected. We got $2,000 leather chairs, $250,000 in artwork including two cast animals at $50,000 each.

I'd recommend that the voters think again about the advisability of a new library tax and what the money would be used for.

How about the library customers kicking in a little each time they use the facilities?

ALAN J. CARLAN

Rancho Palos Verdes

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