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ERIC Number: EJ791502
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-15
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
A Mixed Ballot Bag
Freeman, Christopher
Library Journal, v133 n5 p38-43 Mar 2008
According to the results of LJ's latest annual referenda survey, covering measures held between December 1, 2006, and November 30, 2007, voters approved both operating and building referenda at very high rates. If a library reported a referendum this year, chances are they are in high spirits. Operating referenda, with 69% of measures succeeding, enjoyed a good year, with more than $82 million approved out of approximately $103 million requested. Building referenda did a bit better, boasting a 74% passage rate and hitting a high not seen since the 2003 survey. At the same time that passage rates trend upward, however, the actual number of referenda on the ballot continues to slide; building measures reported nationwide were down 22% since 2003, while operating referenda declined 65% during the same time period. What the data lets library administrators surmise is that perhaps while libraries across the country recognize the general disposition of the public as unlikely to tax themselves voluntarily, they are also getting a better handle on those ingredients that constitute a successful referenda campaign. Even as libraries refine their ability to put together a package with a strong chance of succeeding on Election Day, events in 2007 further solidified the credibility of another piece of information that might guide referenda decisions. The average actual dollar amount per building measure last year was $13,186,892. However, with 46 separate building ballots reported going before voters, the 12 measures that were defeated asked for an average of $21,403,063. In fact, even removing from the equation the hefty $108 million, 30-year bond put forth by Sunnyvale, California, referenda losers still averaged $13,530,614 per measure. On the other hand, among the 34 libraries that acknowledged successful building referenda in 2007, the average proposal came in at only $10,287,068. It seems the size of the building referenda in dollars was the single most effective predictor of success this year, with a robust 80% of ballots under $10 million passing while only 63% of those exceeding that amount enjoyed success.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A