Supervisors Approve Malibu and County Library MOU
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week formally approved a memorandum of understanding between the county library department and the City of Malibu. The Malibu City Council had already approved the MOU.
The agreement was negotiated at the same time city officials threatened to leave the county system.
The memo sets out how the Malibu Library will be refurbished and renovated and how “set-aside” monies that belong to the local library will be spent.
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky considered the action important enough to issue a press release about the supervisors’ approval.
Announcing the board’s action, Yaroslavsky, whose district includes Malibu, said the memo would bring an important county library into the 21st century by modernizing by utilizing state-of-the-art technological upgrades to improve the existing local facility.
“We owe it to ourselves to ensure that libraries remain relevant and appealing places for young and old to congregate and continue the process of life-long learning,” said Yaroslavsky.
Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich, who spearheaded efforts for improved library service and was also instrumental in uncovering millions of dollars that was not being allocated to the Malibu Library, praised the efforts of municipal and county officials dubbing the new era, the library renewal project.
“The library renewal project will be a perfect complement to our new Legacy Park. We believe the library renewal project will result in a sanctuary in the heart of Malibu where people can gather to learn, meet old friends and make new ones,” the mayor added.
After Malibu was incorporated in 1991, city officials decided to remain in the county library system. County officials acceded to Malibu’s efforts during the last four years, as the city took the lead in advocating an equitable share of revenue set-asides for the community.
County officials said other new cities have also approached the library department to request that they be included in these so called set-asides, but city officials have contended that the dollars taken from property taxes are supposed to be spent in the town where the taxes are generated.
Still, the county continues to call its accounting method set-aside funds—monies “generated as excesses after operating costs are evaluated against property taxes collected for the area served.”
The MOU, among many other agreements, sets out to rectify those “set-aside funds.”