Library annexation vote cancelled by Enumclaw City Council

Enumclaw’s possible annexation into the King County Library System isn’t a dead issue, but it’s certainly delayed.

Members of the City Council voted unanimously Monday night to pull a planned April 26 annexation vote off the table. In a second vote, they cancelled an open house scheduled for Thursday that would have provided information about the annexation issue.

Because library funding has been slashed in recent years due to the city’s dwindling financial resources, the council opted in January to place the annexation proposal before voters. If annexation would have supported at the polls, the city-operated library would have been turned over to the King County Library System.

The idea has generated some criticism, most noticeably from the Enumclaw Library Advisory Board.

A potential stumbling block arose last week when the KCLS said it wanted to take ownership of the library building, should it assume operation of library services. Council members balked at that idea, making it clear they would cancel the annexation vote before handing over a valuable asset.

Monday night, the council balked at the proposed annexation vote simply because not enough information is available.

At issue is a transfer agreement designed to spell out all the details surrounding the possible change in library operations – from the city to the independent KCLS. That agreement isn’t complete, so the council felt annexation discussions could not proceed.

Contacted after Monday’s meeting, Councilman Rich Elfers said it’s important to note the city is still operating under a resolution, passed in the fall, that says annexation is in the city’s best interest.

The current lack of a transfer agreement, he said, is simply a temporary “glitch” in the process. Talks with the library system are likely to continue, Elfers said, with another vote slated for another day.

Councilman Mike Ennis agreed that the timing just isn’t right to move forward at this time.

“We didn’t have sufficient information from (the King County Library System) to go forward,” he said, explaining the move to scrap the April 26 vote.

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