SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Is this what you really want?

By Heidi Ekstrand


September 13, 2022

(SitNews) - On October 4, borough voters in only three precincts outside of the Ketchikan and Saxman city limits (two precincts north and one south) will be given the chance to slash 45% of the Ketchikan library’s budget.

Ballot Proposition 2 is designed to end borough funding for the library.

In a memo to the City Council for its Sept. 1 meeting, the Library Director described services and programs that could be cut if this ballot proposition passes. Some of them include:

  • Residents who live outside the City and Saxman won’t be eligible for a library account.
  • Students and teachers who live outside the City and Saxman won’t be able to check out library materials.
  • Changes will need to be made to the shared services agreement between the library and the School District, resulting in loss of services to students and teachers, and increased costs to the School District.
  • Nearly all library programs for adults, children, teens, elders and others would be eliminated.
  • Staff would be reduced from 11.123 full-time employees to 6.09.

Think about the library you have now and the one that would remain if this ballot proposition passes.

Please check the library Facebook page, and also their annual report on the library web site (see “Strategic Plan 2018-2022” under the “About Us” tab) to see what a vast array of programs and services our community library offers every day, to everyone, from one end of the road to the other.

Some say this issue percolated out of concerns about LGBTQ materials at the library. Others say it’s a move by wealthy borough property owners to get out of paying this tax that helps pay for the library. I don’t know.

What I know is if Proposition 2 passes, the end result will be drastic and devastating cuts for all library users, both inside and outside the City limits.

For those of you in the three precincts who will be able to vote on this, is this really what you want for this community, for your neighbors?

Please vote NO on Prop 2.



Proposition 2 - October 04, 2022


Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Opinions expressed are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Sitnews.

Received September 07, 2022 - Published JSeptember 13, 022

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