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Clackamas Library District wins big

The Clackamas County Library District passed easily Tuesday night, with voters approving it by a 3-2 margin.

'When I saw those first returns, I was like wait a minute -the economy has tanked, people's homes are being foreclosed, and people realized this is an essential (measure),' said Karin Morey, of Oregon City's Friends of the Library.

'I guess I just appreciate the fact that voters recognized the need and that libraries are an essential part of the city.'

As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, 61 percent voted in favor of the district, with 107,000 of 190,000 votes counted.

The library district implements a permanent tax of 39 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The average home in Clackamas County is assessed at $205,000, meaning the average homeowner would pay around $81 a year for library services starting in July 2009.

The district will generate $11.8 million for libraries, a number that allows all libraries to reach the Oregon Library Association's standards for size and circulation.

In other Clackamas County voting:

* Clackamas County voters have passed the Extension Services District special district by a comfortable margin of 10 and a half percent.

The district garnered 55 percent yes votes out of about 102,000 votes. A total of 115,618 votes were counted in the county as a whole.

The district levies a tax of five cents per $1,000 of assessed property tax value and includes all of Clackamas County except Johnson City.

* Wilsonville Mayor Charlotte Lehan leads Clackamas businessman Dave Mowry with 56 percent of the vote for Position 4 on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

Around 59,000 votes were counted as of 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. Based on previous years, there are likely to be at least 170,000 voters.

* Milwaukie Mayor Jim Bernard was leading former West Linn legislator Ron Adams in the race for Position 5 on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

Bernard was leading with 56 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for West Linn's Ron Adams.