State Representative Pat Proctor’s recent Facebook page stated that Nancy Bauder was “formerly a member of the Library Board of Trustees.” For the sake of complete and accurate information about how the Library is governed, Mrs. Bauder served on the Library Board of Trustees two years ago because she was the Mayor of Leavenworth at that time. Mayors do not choose to serve on the Library Board nor are they appointed like the other seven community members who serve. State law mandates that Mayors serve by virtue of their office (ex officio) and their terms expire when they are no longer Mayor. Currently, Mayor Jermaine Wilson is a member of the Library Board.
His post also referred to “..the Library’s property tax increase.” The Library Board has never had the authority to increase property taxes. The City approved a 3.75 mill cap for the Library’s general fund mill rate 37 years ago and the Board has no power to increase that rate. For the last two years, the Library’s general fund mill rate has been reduced.
A “revenue neutral” budget in FY2024 would create a financial snowball effect, resulting in a loss of at least $206,903 next year. That amount equals 90 percent of the Library’s material budget, 72 percent of utilities, maintenance and other essential services, 24 percent of the entire payroll. In light of these facts, Library Board members acted responsibly by approving a 2024 budget that preserves the effectiveness of an institution that has served the community for 120 years.
–Library Director Matt Nojonen