Arlington Library bond vote remains too close to call
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:03 PM
ARLINGTON The final tally of votes has yet to be counted, but the current percentages indicate that the Arlington Library bond election remains a close race.
Residents of the city of Arlington and most of the Arlington School District voted May 20 on two measures: Whether to form an independent taxing authority and district, called a Library Capital Facility Area, and whether to approve an $8.8 million bond to fund a new library for the Arlington community.
As of May 21, the Snohomish County Auditor reported that Proposition 1, to form the Library Capital Facility Area, has received a total of 4,940 votes, with 2,916 votes to approve it, or 59.03 percent of the vote. Proposition 2, to approve the bond for a new library, has received a total of 4,927 votes, with 2,770 votes to approve it, or 56.22 percent of the vote.
Proposition 1 only requires a simple majority of 50 percent, plus one vote, to pass, but Proposition 2 requires a super-majority of 60 percent to pass. If the final tally of votes does not give Proposition 2 60 percent of the vote, the library bond can run for election a second time without running the Library Capital Facility Area for election.
""By state law, once a bond measure has failed twice, a capital facility area has to be reformed,"" said Mary Kelly, community relations director for the Sno-Isle Libraries. ""It can be a bit confusing, but both the capital facility area and the bond have to be passed for Arlington to get a new library.""
Both Kelly and Kathy Bullene, branch manager for the Arlington Library, emphasized that the fate of the library bond remains uncertain.
""What I discovered in 2006 is that it's not over until it's over,"" Kelly said May 21. ""The results will be certified a week from Friday, and last time, it came down to the very end.""
Kelly was unwilling to make any predictions about the final tally of the vote, but she expressed optimism about what she's seen so far.
""Even though the bond measure is not high enough yet to pass, but it's high enough to show the strong support and positive feelings of the community for the Arlington Library,"" said Kelly, who noted that the May 21 vote totals do not include votes sent May 20.
Bullene was quick to praise the Arlington Library Bond Committee for their hard work. She cited a larger library as a critical need for a growing community like Arlington.
""Hopefully we'll get a bigger one soon,"" Bullene said. ""I learned the last time that every vote counts, and not all of the votes have been counted yet. It will be close, but we hope to finish a little bit over, rather than a little bit under.""
Regardless of what the final tally of the vote turns out to be, Bullene promised to provide Arlington Library patrons with ""the best services we can with the resources we have.""