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County recount certifies library bond failure

EVERETT Last minute hopes were smashed Thursday, Dec. 7 when the Snohomish County Elections Department recounted north county ballots within the Library Capital Facility Area, which was created by voters in 2000.
The final count for the proposed new Arlington Library found 5,307 (59.69 percent) yes votes and 3,584 (40.31 percent) no votes.
According to my calculations, that means we were 27.6 votes short of passing, said the library systems spokesperson, Mary Kelly.
The $2,200 cost to recount the election results was split between the city of Arlington and the Sno-Isle Library System.
Were all very disappointed, said the Karen Hobson, of the Arlington Library Board.
The entire committee is disappointed, said George Boulton, chair of the community committee established to help pass the bond.
We did find a few more yes votes, but not enough, he said.
Hobson personally observed the recount process and said she was very impressed with the countys election department.
Everything was very efficient and well organized, Hobson said.
The Sno-Isle Library Systems regular board meeting is Monday, Dec. 18 but no decisions about a future bond proposal are anticipated.
I expect the board will review the election results, but there will be no decisions, Kelly said it will be up to the library system director [Jonallyn Wolfe-Ivory] to work with the city and the county on behalf of the Library Capital Facilities Area to decide what to do next, she said.
The LCFA was established when Sno-Isle Library System proposed its first bond proposal for a new library in Arlington in 2000. Voters supported creating the LCFA, but not the proposal for a new library in a new location.
The LCFA largely follows the Arlington School Districts boundary east of I-5 toward Darrington, but not including Silvana.
Through the past few years, the city of Arlington has acquired several lots in the area around the current library to make the expansion of a library campus feasible. In the proposed $8.1 million bond, the new library would have been built across the street from the current library, with a small park, parking areas on both sides of the street, and the old library retained for use as a community center.
Mayor Margaret Larson said it would be the library systems decision about what and when to present to the voters in the future.
In my opinion, we should run the same proposal again, Larson said.
Clearly the majority of the people want a new library. Unfortunately, the supermajority is the rule for a bond proposal.

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