by Lisa Crockett
After a disappointing loss last November, Douglas County Library District Director Jamie LaRue is seeking another bite at the apple. LaRue met with interested community volunteers at a meeting in February to explore ways Castle Pines North (CPN) residents could aid in a second effort to bring a library to CPN.
Polling data shows that voter turnout for the 2007 election (only about 34 percent county-wide) and voter demographics may have affected the outcome of the election. The same data suggests that this fall’s presidential election may drive a more favorable outcome for the library.
“In the last presidential election, a voter was typically between the ages of 35 and 55 and about half the voters were women, which matches the profile of our typical library patron,” said LaRue.
A typical voter during the November, 2007 election was older and male - a voter who tends to vote no on measures that would increase taxes, LaRue said.
Last fall’s library mill levy proposal was voted down by just 210 votes – a margin of less than one percent. The measure was overwhelmingly supported in CPN, passing by more than 70 percent. Analysis of voting data showed it was voters in Castle Rock who cost the library much-needed funding to meet the needs of a growing population in Douglas County.
“Castle Rock already has a library, so voters there may not have seen what was in it for them,” said Larue. “I am a fiscal conservative, but this is an equity issue. We know from the community’s use of the bookmobile that CPN is ready for a library of its own.”
Ultimately, a ballot measure for increased library funding will be initiated by the Library Board of Directors, an action that will not take place until August. In the meantime, Larue will be conducting public education meetings and gauging public support for the measure.
If the measure passes, in would bring enough revenue for the library to do a tenant-finish on a retail building in the “CC-20” development at the corner of Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Boulevard. The new facility would be about 6,500 square feet and would include meeting rooms, a children’s area and an area for adults. The measure would also provide funding for new facilities in Parker and Lone Tree.
Anyone interested in volunteering in the library effort, please e-mail name and contact information to: Contact by email.