Voters down Kitsap Regional Library levy

Measure fails 55 to 44 percent.

Kitsap County voters decidedly defeated a property tax increase that

would have guaranteed operation of the Kitsap Regional Libraries’

operation and growth for the next five years in a special election on


“This was a tough one,” said KRL Director Jill Jean after the vote.

“We had a lot of good support and we ran a clean, ethical campaign. I

am tremendously disappointed.”

With 50,645 votes reported shortly after 8 p.m., 27,291 (55.21

percent) opposed the measure while 22,684 (44.79 percent) voted in its


About 50 people gathered in the Bremerton Library Tuesday evening,

making optimistic speeches and congratulating each other for what they

expected to be a victorious campaign. Shortly after 8 p.m. KRL Public

Relations Manager Audrey Newell announced that the measure was


As the air seemed to disappear from the room several people audibly

gasped and someone shouted, “You lie!”

“I completely understand how worried everyone is about property

taxes,” said KRL Trustee Althea Paulson. “This was a vote against more

taxes, and not a vote against the library.”

Jean said there is no strategy in place to deal with the defeat. She

said the KRL Board would meet to discuss different options at its

regular meeting May 24.

This was the first lid lift request from KRL since 1979.

The gathering ended on a cautiously optimistic note when sign

coordinator John Hurley told the attendees to “collect all the signs

and hope they are in good enough condition that we can use them again.”