Interim Port Townsend Library director gets down to work
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Interim Port Townsend Library Director Beverly Shelton, right, meets with Senior Library Associate Beverly Moore on Shelton’s first day of work on Monday.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Beverly Shelton, who served as Port Townsend Library director for 15 years and who has since 1991 worked as a consultant to the library system, began as interim director this week.

Shelton, 63, was hired to replace Theresa Percy, who retired after a workplace complaint that she appeared to intend to use library resources to gather material advocating a $3 million library bond issue that is on the Aug. 6 primary election ballot.

Shelton declined to comment about the new position on her first day at work Monday.

She said she was “getting her bearings” and had nothing more to say, instead issuing the following written statement.

“Since [serving as library director], I've been invited back occasionally to work on special projects or substitute for employees on leave,” it said.

“Each time I have returned to a better and more vibrant library, I am once again looking forward to joining the talented and dedicated staff as we keep the library moving ahead.”

The proposed bond issue, Proposition 1, would pay for renovation and expansion of the Carnegie Library portion of the complex at 1220 Lawrence St.

Passage will require a supermajority of 60 percent plus one vote.

The estimated cost would be 14 cents per $1,000 assessed value, or $28 per year for the owner of a $200,000 home.

City Manager David Timmons said last week that Shelton would distance herself from the bond issue and work on the next steps for the library depending on its passage or defeat.

Shelton said she will earn $74,046 per year during her tenure, the same salary that Percy had.

The $3 million bond amount will be used toward the $4.2 million renovation project, with the difference to be raised through private donations.

Last week, the library heard from an anonymous donor who pledged $100,000 if the bond passes, which brings the private money raised to its $1.2 million goal, according to Friends of the Library board member Cameron McPherson, who serves as vice president of fundraising.

The gift, with the passage of the bond, will ensure that the Library Foundation will have in hand the necessary funds, as required by the City Council, to set in motion the first phases of construction in mid-2014, according to a statement.

McPherson said another $300,000 to cover furniture, facilities and equipment is needed but that that can be raised over a three-year period.

While the Carnegie Building has been closed for repairs, the library has operated out of a temporary location at Mountain View Commons, 1919 Blaine St.

If the bond passes, the library will remain in that location until at least early 2015.

If the measure is defeated, it could move back to the Carnegie location as soon as this fall.



Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 23. 2013 6:12PM
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