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Library-Tax Supporters Contribute $265,000

Voters in Clayton and other St. Louis County Library system cities will decide Nov. 6 whether to approve the Proposition L tax increase for construction and branch maintenance.

More than $265,000 in contributions have been made to support a committee backing the proposed St. Louis County Library tax increase appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot. Voters in Affton will decide whether to approve or reject the measure along with other people living in the library system.

More than 80 percent of contributions made to the Proposition L committee—called Citizens for Our Library and Our Community—happened between June 30 and Sept. 30. Giving and spending for that period is documented in an Oct. 1 filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The committee received $215,000 in the last three months, bringing total contributions to just over $265,000.

(See related on Patch: County Tax Increase Could Lead to New Affton Library)

Nearly 70 percent of expenditures made by the committee also happened in the last three months. That works out to about $96,000 in expenditures between the end of June and the end of September, part of the nearly $140,000 in total spending.

Other highlights for the period:

  • About 70 percent of total campaign contributions came from a single donor: Civic Progress Action Committee, which made two $75,000 gifts.
  • Other large single-amount contributions included those from Jacobs Engineering ($7,500), Interface Construction Co. ($5,000), Enterprise Holdings Inc. Political Action Committee ($5,000), Lashly Baer P.C. ($5,000), S.M. Wilson ($5,000), KAI ($5,000), Color Art Integrated Interiors ($5,000) and Sachs Electric Co. ($5,000).
  • The committee spent more than $33,000 with Clayton-based Sequel LLC for services such as consulting, mailings and poll workers.
  • Not all of the money stayed in St. Louis. Close to $28,000 was spent with Alexandria, VA-based Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly LLC for creative development, consulting and a digital media buy.
  • Other large single-amount expenditures went to a postmaster for mailing ($6,000), Mulligan Printing for printing services ($5,900), Terrance Jones for a tracking survey ($5,000) and Majority Strategies for fundraising consulting ($4,800).
Chris Mallie October 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM
The problem I have with these renovations is that, somewhere in the past 20 years, public buildings have gotten so costly and ornate that they're hard to sustain. They are no longer simple but functional buildings. They have huge, glassed-in atriums -- dead space that's expensive to climate control. They have lots of ancillary space - meeting rooms, coffee shops, classrooms, performance spaces, auditoriums, lobbies...and these are filled with waterfalls and other expensive features that constantly cost money to maintain. We seemed to have forgotten that each public building should perform its own set of fundamental tasks, and not each needs to be a huge monstrosity with the accoutrements of a castle, theater, or other "gathering space". Look at fire stations, city halls, municipal recreation centers, police stations, courthouses, and yes, libraries to see that it's gotten out of hand. I love the Central Library downtown, and I'm sure the renovations will be nice overall. But now there's more empty space, glassed-in areas, fountains, pools, and other unnecessary fluff that taxpayers have to support. At some point in the future we will not be able to sustain it, and we're not preparing for that day. As much as I like the library system, and use it and the sister system in the City, I do not feel that the library needs to expand so much as refocus. It does NOT need "more space," just smarter use of it, and that would be possible without a tax increase.

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