Image: Brooke Dawson

In a blog post published in this forum on November 6th, I shared the Library District’s 2019 budget. It is embedded again below for your review.

Today Chemung County Executive Moss sent information to the Legislature that shows the county provides a small amount of in-kind services to the Library District, something it has done since the Library District was created in 2005.

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To be clear, the amounts listed above are not for actual expenditures made by Chemung County to the Library District, but rather in-kind services, primarily for lawn maintenance. (At this time I am unclear what constitutes the the gas and electric fees as it is not set forth in the document outlining the arrangement.)

The fact that Chemung County provides very limited in-kind services to the Library District does not change the legal analysis of this issue at all.

Beginning in 2005 the Library District became its own entity governed by an elected Board of Trustees and funded primarily by its own tax levy.

The county provides in-kind and other services to scores of municipal and quasi-municipal entities that operate independently in Chemung County.

The most analogous example to what the county does for the Library District are the school districts. These districts are governed by an elected Board of Education and funded primarily through a school tax levy.

Even though the county provides services to the school districts such as School Resource Officers (SROs), it would be absolutely improper for the legislature to vote for a measure urging the public to vote down the school district budget because it offers classes that teach confederate history or biological evolution, or offer support groups for LGBTQ+ students. Voters are free exercise their rights to vote no on these issues, but it is improper the government to act in such manner.

Christina Sonsire