Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 12, 2013

Bill on taxing districts hits home


Somerset —

However, Keeney is not so keen on the bill itself and what it represents — as she sees it, the proverbial “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” scenario.
“The way they are currently appointed, board appointments allow non-partisan political influence on library boards. The system we currently have in place has worked for over 60 years,” said Keeney. “To my knowledge, there have been very little issues as far as board members being removed.”
Keeney said that the process for appointing board members looks for “local citizens who will provide oversight for the library,” which are limited to two four-year terms, for uncompensated positions. She also said that she looks for “friends that are library supporters and library users” to be potential board members.
“I don’t know why there would be a problem,” said Keeney. “It just works the way it is.”
Keeney also said that she would support House Bill 1 (as did the blog, which urged library supporters to show their approval to legislators) which was passed by the House last week before moving on to the Senate. This bill would set up a system for auditing the entities and would create an online database where taxpayers could review financial reports for each taxing district.
This “would be wonderful, as far as I’m concerned,” said Keeney, who said she felt support by State Auditor Adam Edelen’s statements that library boards had shown some of the greatest compliance with the rules and accountability among all the special taxing district in the state. A survey on these districts by Edelen ultimately prompted the state legislature to consider what ultimately became HB 1.
“When (Edelen) makes statements like that, it makes me believe our boards are doing it right,” said Keeney. 

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