GP, Harper Woods Voters Approve Library Millage

The Grosse Pointe Public Library system will receive the 0.7 mills it requested in Tuesday's election, which is expected to help the organization continue providing the same services at the same level.

Grosse Pointers and Harper Woods residents approved a 0.7 mill increase for the Tuesday, according to initial results shared by each of the city's clerks.

The millage is expected to raise $1.82 million for the library system over an eight year period and that would affect service to users.

The millage passed with 10,974 yes votes throughout the five Grosse Pointes and a portion of Harper Woods. There was some opposition with 3,557 no votes, also throughout the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods.

There is a small portion of Harper Woods that is served by the Grosse Pointe Public School district and therefore the library system that also voted on the issue. Results were not immediately available Tuesday night.

Supporters did heavy campaigning for the millage in the last weeks leading up to Tuesday's election, which also included . The group did door-to-door campaigning, mailings, yard signs and even used a phone bank to contact Grosse Pointers.

There was also a heavy presence of supporters and signage at many of the polling locations throughout the Grosse Pointes Tuesday.

The group, headed up by Grosse Pointer Ben Burns, also had several informational meetings to help inform voters about how the money would be used.

Originally, —the Woods and Ewald. The , however, after board members did research and conducted some focus groups.

Library Board President Brian Garves said repeatedly in presentations before the city councils in the Pointes that the library system is hurting similarly to the municipalities because of the repeatedly declined property values.

The new buildings were built when the economy was in great shape and there was no projected shortfall or problem with paying those off, however the debt had become more than the system could handle after the economy tanked.

Several cuts have already been made in regards to staffing and the elimination of lesser used programs or services but without the millage, the library board said significant changes would be unavoidable. Those changes would be noticed by users, they said.

Here are votes cast in each of the Grosse Pointes:

Yes No Grosse Pointe Shores 581 325 Grosse Pointe Farms 2,542 754 City of Grosse Pointe 1,349 325 Grosse Pointe Park 2,459 694 Grosse Pointe Woods 3,570 1,250 Harper Woods 473 209 Totals 10,974 3,557

The 0.7 mills means taxpayers will pay 0.70 cents for every $1,000 in taxable value of their home, or $70 for every $100,000 worth of taxable value. The millage increase will begin in 2012 and continue through 2019.

Kim Towar March 01, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Kudos to Ben Burns and all the folks who worked tirelessly to remind us that reading is alive and well!
Lisa Pinkos Howle March 01, 2012 at 01:27 AM
It is?
Chris K March 01, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Did anyone look at the combative comments in last week's Grosse Pointe News directed at those who had the temerity to speak out against the library millage in letters to the editor the preceding week? Likewise with the FB group Citizens in Action...some of the honest comments made there were quickly converted to racist hysteria in op - ed pieces. Nope, assigning ones name does not affect the lack of civility of those who dare disagree.
Chris March 01, 2012 at 03:24 AM
I agree with Bob Carr. His argument is reasonable, logical, and informed. Brian Hunt also makes an excellent point. As to taxes, our house values have dropped and so have our taxes. My husband and I know this personally having returned to Grosse Pointe and purchased a house in 2003.=) We are fortunate to live here, and it is important to support the services that make this a wonderful community--even if it means a slight increase in taxes. If one were to purchase or download four new books a year, that cost would exceed the millage tax increase. Instead, we are now guaranteed access to a library collection, which makes an unlimited number of new books available, either electronically or in hard cover. Perhaps in eight years when this millage expires, libraries will have been rendered obsolete by Kindle, etc. But I doubt it. Thanks again to all those who worked so hard for our community. And to those who disagree, that's the American way. I certainly understand how a senior citizen on a fixed income might find any tax increase difficult. It just would be nice to use a civil tone and refrain from mocking satire--as Chris suggests.
vic f. free March 01, 2012 at 07:32 PM
what do you care if it is someones true name or not....ever hear of a whistle blower.....but if people ever paid attention to the Pointe's and more so the Shores....it is all going down the drain...are you really shocked that the Shores voted no to the libary........they have no money the people are so broke but do not want others to know it is funny......PS do away with dog parks why do DPWs have to maintain a place for dogs to crap...... hold crap parties in your own backyards the Pointes have enough crap as it is...move to the West side....


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