This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

Search This Blog

Monday, August 11, 2014

The 2014 Library Renewal Passes. Margin of Victory almost ten times that of 2011.

The 2014 Library Vote

Voter Turn Out
2014  vote was 82 voter less than 2011
Yes Vote
 <Gain of 129 Yes Votes
No Votes
<Loss of 211 No Votes
Vote  Difference in 2011     37 Votes
Precinct 1 Yes 
<   Yes  224 gain
Precinct 1  No  
< 120 No  loss
Precinct 2 Yes  
< Yes  71 gain
Precinct 2 No 
<No  91 loss
Absentee  Yes
< Yes  72  gain
Absentee  No
< -181 No  Loss
In Person Yes
<Yes  57 Gain
In Person No
< No  94 loss
Vote Difference in 2014        379 Votes

Voter Turn Out: In the two elections concerning our participation with the Baldwin Library,  the 2011 November election drew 1057 voters  compared to last Tuesday's 975 voters.  That is  a difference of 82.
While City Commission voted 5 to zero in support of the Library millage renewal  the vote for an August election was only 3 to 2 with commissioners Sherr  and McClure voting for a November election when a bigger turnout would be anticipated.  That is true in an even numbered year when the November vote is massive. Library's traditionally hold August elections when voters  can focus on an issue  that otherwise be buried in a November even year Ballot.
  In our City  elections  in  November  odd numbered years have not had big turn outs. The 2011 Library Millage vote  got 82 more votes that this year's August Library election . The were however mitigating factors such as the weather. In 2011 the weather was cold with a touch of rain and  freezing rain. In 2014 from 6am to 9:30 am there  was a torrential downpour that effectively eliminated all but the most all but the most stalwart voters from  voting at the 7am-9am hours when the polls opened till mid morning. The was also a less intense afternoon rain of an hour plus. The rest of the day was oddly enough sunny and  rather nice. Regardless  in a 1000 vote election 82 votes  is a negligible number  which  did not figure in the outcome.

Why did the millage renewal pass ?

In 2011 the millage almost didn't, winning by a margin of just 37 votes. By 2014 however City residents had fallen in love with the Baldwin Library.  From an electoral point of view there really is no other way to explain it. Yes votes increased by 129 over 2011 and No votes decreased by 211. That is a  swing of  379 votes which is identical to the margin of victory.

There were two areas of note. Yes votes in precinct 1 
(City Hall) jumped 224 votes over 2011  and absentee no voters decreased  City wide by 181. While there is some duplication there with  Precinct one voters who voted by absentee, when properly separated, the remaining correct number  would be still be more than enough to be the margin of victory by itself.

In every category in the above table the Yes vote increases and No vote decreased  in comparing 2014 to 2011.

The  Baldwin Library  may have also been benefited from the indifference shown to it  by City Commission in the two years and nine months since the 2011 millage passed. 

A participant of every City of Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Open House during this time period, the Library, with only slight exaggeration was positioned  in  a corner facing a wall.  

In the first year of the contract when Library Director came to City Commissioner Meetings to give an Blomfield Baldwin Library quarterly usage update he was often told  by the Mayor that the City had big agenda that evening so keep it short.  At the last City Commissioner McClure ventured without offering any substantiation that perhaps many residents obtained Library cards but probably didn't use them.

As a result of such indifference from on high, Library supporters were able by word of mouth to emphasize  the many benefits of the Baldwin Library residents didn't even know they had. One enterprising  fellow at Precinct 1 arranged a half dozen best sellers and DVD's  on the trunk of a car and asked passer by's  if the knew about the satellite library at City Hall. 

Stocked  with recent  best sellers  and DVDs by  Baldwin, the City Hall library provided all City of Bloomfield Hills  residents borrowing privileges, required no library card, and offers  returns via the honor system without a  due date.  Despite the fact that the City Hall Library is about to enter it's third year, many had not heard about it

Another benefit is the drop box at City Hall. It is emptied every Thursday. Any book that is due on a  Friday or later is and deposited through the following Wednesday, is considered  returned in time with no late fees.

One woman  said that with kids and the standard DVD dollar a day fine the six day grace period via the return box would be big factor.

Another mother said the family had a pow wow the night before the election  in which the the Baldwin usage figures published in the papers was discussed as was the family usage.  Then they all voted to vote  yes the next day.

A year ago before being relegated to the proverbial corner facing the wall, some  residents asked  for better placement for the Baldwin Library at Celebrate the City of Bloomfield Hills Day. That request was denied because the "Baldwin Library was not City of Bloomfield Hills."

It is now and will be until November of 2020.

No comments: