Ogdensburg legislator says he’ll vote ‘yes’ on library referendum

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 8:16 AM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - A St. Lawrence County legislator and longtime Ogdensburg resident says he’ll vote “yes” on a referendum on funding for Ogdensburg’s library.

That vote will be in contrast to the city’s mayor, who is being vocal in his opposition.

District 1 Legislator Jim Reagen represents Ogdensburg. In a release late Tuesday, the legislator said, “I’ll be voting yes on May 18th when voters go to the polls to decide on a referendum that will decide whether we save our library, preserve our community’s heritage and stand up for what’s best in Ogdensburg.”

That’s in contrast to Mayor Mike Skelly, who has been vocal in his opposition to the library’s $225,000 funding proposal.

The vote is seen by some as a vote of confidence for the mayor, who was swept into office by a write-in vote in 2019. The vote could show how voters feel about his performance in office so far.

At issue is a referendum before Ogdensburg City School District voters to approve collecting a tax through the district to fund the library.

District voters have already approved $125,000. The library is asking for $225,000 to help make up the nearly $350,000 the city has cut since 2017.

Skelly has repeatedly said the library should be doing more with less.

Reagen said the library deserves community support.

“The Ogdensburg Public Library has helped introduce hundreds of thousands of Ogdensburg children to the joys of reading since the first library opened its doors in 1828,” he said.

“Yes, Ogdensburg residents have always enjoyed fighting among ourselves about matters like politics and taxes,” Reagen said, “but we recognize that we have always been able to come together when it really matters.”

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