Library, some residents outraged after town tells them how to vote

WWNY Library, some residents outraged after town tells them how to vote

TOWN OF LOUISVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - A town board tells citizens vote ‘no’ on a library request. The library and some citizens are outraged. But the board is sticking to its position.

Marie Kirwan of Louisville had seen signs around town. Still, she was shocked to get a letter from the town board telling her the same thing.

“I was appalled. I had to read it twice. The letter told us to vote 'no' to the library proposition...Are they next going to tell me to vote for Trump for president,” she said.

The town board is sticking to its position on the library tax. It currently has a tax that raises $9,000 for the Massena Public Library.

A 'yes' vote on the library proposition would hike that to $154,000.

“So that's 17 times the amount that is currently being collected,” said Larry Legault, Louisville town supervisor.

Kirwan and five other Louisville residents supporting a 'yes' vote have served notice they could sue the town over the letter. The library is not part of that, but has blasted the mailing on Facebook.

“You cannot tell voters how to vote. They shouldn't have attempted to sway the vote,” said Elaine Dunne, Massena Public Library director.

The library proposition is on the back of the school district ballot.

Currently, the town of Massena pays most of the library's bills – about $600,000 per year.

The proposition is to have all property taxpayers in the school district contribute. That means a brand new tax in parts of the towns of Norfolk and Brasher.

This school district vote is drawing nearly unprecedented interest. Officials don't know if it's because of the largely mail-in balloting, the library vote, or both.

The school district has already received about 1,500 ballots. That's three times the total vote in a typical school election.

They’ll be receiving ballots until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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