Voters overwhelmingly approve renewal of Multnomah County Library money measure

May 16, 2012

Multnomah County voters handily approved a library local option levy that does not raise taxes and ensures a majority of library funding will be in place for the next three years.

The Elections Division’s unofficial results indicated that nearly 84 percent of people voted in favor of the library measure about 16 percent voted no.

Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen said he was pleased by the voter support for one of the county’s most popular departments.

“The role of our libraries in this community is immense, especially during these tough economic times,” Chair Cogen said. “The library is a place for everybody to learn -- whether you’re a young child participating in story time, a student who needs a place to study, a parent looking for movies or someone looking for help finding a job.

“When voters passed the levy, they ensured everyone that our libraries will continue to serve the community in a way that is beneficial to everyone. The Board of Commissioners and all our residents are very grateful that the voters made this decision.”

Vailey Oehlke, the county’s library director, agreed.

“As the second most used public library in the nation, it is heartening to see the support of the library at each of our 19 library locations and at the ballot box,” she said. “The library extends its heartfelt thanks to the voters for their continued support.”

Measure 26-125 renews the local option levy at its current rate of 89 cents and will fund most of the library’s current services. If the measure failed, it would have forced drastic cutbacks in staff and a significant reduction in hours at Central Library and 18 neighborhood branches.

To see all elections results and updates for Multnomah County, visit the Elections Division’s website.