Commissioners allow Josephine Co. homeowner to opt out of library district

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – Josephine County Commissioners voted 2-1 this week to allow a property owner to opt out of being part of the county’s library district.

On Wednesday, the homeowners who submitted the petition to be removed from the library district, Mike and Winnie Pelfry, spoke at the county commissioners meeting.

They say it’s because they don’t use or benefit from the services the library provides.

After a lengthy back and forth between community members about whether it should be allowed, Commissioners eventually voted to allow the property owner to opt out of being in the voter-backed district. This means they’ll no longer have to pay taxes to the Josephine Community Library.

Commissioner Dan DeYoung was the one dissenting vote.  He says he is worried about what this decision will mean for the rest of the state.

“What I’m concerned about is establishing a precedent for all over the place,” Commissioner DeYoung said. “When you say that you should be able to be in or out you’re just basically saying that elections don’t matter.”

It was just last month that county voters passed a law enforcement district, something commissioners had been backing for years. It’s unknown whether community members can now opt out of that and other districts as well.

At the meeting, members of the Library Board and Pelfry said he had ran for a spot on the library board earlier this year but lost.

We reached out to each commissioner for an explanation about the legality of the move, but we haven’t heard back.

The county’s legal counsel and his deputy are both out of town at a training and were not available for comment.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Skip to content