An initiative petition was submitted to Moniteau County Clerk Roberta Elliott last week concerning a new county library proposal.
State statutes provide that upon presentation of signatures exceeding 5 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election, the county commission shall place the measure on the ballot for popular vote.
The county clerk said 400 approved signatures were required to meet the ballot requirement. There were 676 approved signatures presented to the clerk.
The Moniteau County Commission will hear a report on the number of approved signatures presented and is expected to vote on the ballot measure Aug. 24.
This proposed library ballot issue differs from the 1992 ballot issue in several ways.
The first county library district was created by an order of the county commission. However, this proposed county library, if placed on the ballot, will be up to the voters to approve.
The first county library district was based on six school districts, rather than the entire county. Three of those districts made up the Eastern Subdistrict — California, High Point and Jamestown — and three made up the Western Subdistrict — Tipton, Clarksburg and Latham. That means voters in the school districts of other counties — Cole County R-1, Cooper County R-5 and Miller County R-1 — were not eligible to vote in the election.
The new proposed county library includes the entire county — except for the city of Tipton, which has its own city library district.
Taxpayers of the 1992 county library district paid a tax levy of 12 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The new proposed district would keep the levy at the same rate.
If accepted by the county commission, the ballot issue will go on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Library lawsuit continues
The parties involved in the ongoing Moniteau County Library lawsuit met Aug. 10 at the Moniteau County Courthouse, as ordered by Judge Donald Barnes.
Barnes ruled Feb. 21 the district had not been created legally, so it never officially existed even though it operated nearly 20 years.
The purpose of the Aug. 10 meeting was for an agreement to be made by representatives of the city of Tipton; the court-appointed receiver of the Moniteau County Library District; the Elia Wood Paegelow Foundation, owner of the Wood Place Library; and Larry Carpenter, a Clarksburg taxpayer who seeks a return of taxes he paid and taxpayer reimbursement for all in the Western Subdistrict.
Since no settlement was reached, the case could remain in litigation for some time.