Posted by Eric Quinn on Nov 02, 2018
As the autumn leaves painted the sky, and the clouds meandered about, Lakewood Rotarians gathered and laughed, again. President Gayle Selden rang the bell to order in a timely manner and ensured we paid attention to all of the  minute details.
 
Mick Johnson led us in the thought for the day and of course, wished luck to the Seahawks. Mo Sarram led us in the pledge. Ward Fletcher took care of set-up. Gary Fulton manned the Paul Harris Table and collected $592 for the Foundation. Christine Vu was our greeter. Jan Gee was the sergeant at arms. Walt Richardson took photographs. Eric Quinn wrote the bulletin.
 
There were no visiting Rotarians this time around. Perhaps they blew away in the wind. For guests, Jan Reeder brought Jack Westerfield. Of course, our very good friend John Korsmo, who is not a guest but a titan, arrived and shared his smile and good humor. Furthermore, Tom and Fae Crabill, who are also not guests but titans, came up from the south to keep us in good spirits.
 
A guy walks into a bar. This is unfortunate because he has a drinking problem.
 
Strangely, Fae did not appear to be stirring about, but a strange figure dressed in a magician’s costume made her way to the front of the room. Her name was Helen Houdini. She regaled us with her magic tricks, which included making Fae Crabill appear from out of nowhere. Remarkable. Helen told us about the Partners Dinner that is going to be coming up on December  7 here at the Club. Come have a party and delicious dinner, and there will be a magician this year! Helen Houdini waved her wand one more time because Fae had disappeared again. But alas, when Helen thought she would make Fae re-appear, she turned Fae into a bearded beggar! Helen, aka Carole Wier, was slightly embarrassed that her wizard’s ways were wearing off. Perhaps if we show up at the December 7 Partners Dinner she will get her mojo back.
 
 
There was no sunshine to report.
 
As for announcements, Kendra Riconosciuto reminded us that the Puffins’ Presidential Roast is coming up on December 14. Also, the Emergency Food Network’s food-packing event will be occurring on December 15. There will be more details to come. Speaking of the Puffins, Leanna Albrecht, new Lakewood Rotarian, gave the honorary puffin to another even-newer Rotarian, Bob Bruback. Guard that puffin with your life, Bob!
 
What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor? He said "Where's my tractor?"
 
Rob Erb read us a thank-you letter from Bill Striegel, Andrew Hockman and Frank Goodell, thanking Lakewood Rotary for its support for the 2018 Airmen Support Golf Tournament. Our donations helped make an outstanding charity event happen. Consequently, the Air Force Association and the Order of Daedalians are quite thankful. Rob Erb also informed us that next Friday will be the Veterans Appreciation meeting, in which many of our honored veterans are expected to attend the meeting in uniform. In fact, we will get to see if Gary Fulton still fits into his uniform, which he has every year, consistently.
 
Nicole Hancock reminded us that it’s that time of year again, almost. The Lakewood Rotary Sportsmen’s Dinner and Auction will be taking place on April 13, 2019. Nicole asked that the club express some of their ideas about what we will be Raising the Paddle for the Auction. She passed out some paper and the club brainstormed. Many ideas were expressed and we are sure that we will have a great cause to put Raise the Paddle donations toward, because we know how caring and compassionate this Club is. The Auction Committee will be meeting after the regular meeting next Friday.
 
 
Mary Horn heard from Rose Stevens, who brought suitcases full of books to Nepal, that Rose paid $200 to get the books over there because the suitcases were quite heavy. Mary and Gayle asked that the Club chip in to reimburse Rose and within minutes the Club forked over $320. Mary also informed us that Cheri Loiland, who is an administrator at Western State Hospital and a great Rotarian, wanted to know whether any Rotarians would be interested in attending a holiday party at the hospital for approximately 30 individuals. Cheri is confident that these 30 individuals would be very touched to have some visitors for the holidays, and the party is taking place on December 12 so please tell Mary Horn if you are interested. Mary anticipates that Cheri will be giving us a list of what these individuals want for Christmas.
 
What do an elephant and a graph have in common? One of them is purple.
 
Then out came the tiara and the fines began. Gary Fulton went on the 18th Fulton Family Cruise, this time along the Mexican coast. His mom turned 100 recently so he gave $100. John Korsmo would have paid a fine but Gayle wouldn’t let him, saying that he had a get-out-of-jail free card. John did wonder, however, “Who made Gayle president?” He mentioned that his son recently graduated as an engineer, and that he recently sent his daughter off to school. It was fantastic to see John.  Don Daniels claimed that he sent Gayle an email asking for five minutes of time at the meeting but she never responded. So Don did not get his five minutes and therefore did not have to pay a fine.
 
 
 
John Caulfield introduced our speaker, Georgia Lomax, the Executive Director of the Pierce County Library District (hereinafter “District”). She oversees a budget of $30 million, and manages nearly 400 employees, 20 library locations and extensive online and outreach services. She also sits on the Executive Board of Tacoma Community House and serves on the University of Washington iSchool Advisory Board. Georgia wants libraries to be prepared for whatever the future brings, and to be true to the needs of their unique communities, which is why she spoke to us that day.
 
Georgia wanted us to know about all of the valuable services that the District provides and is committed to providing the community. She reminded us that the District is not a department of Pierce County but is its own separate municipal corporation with a separate taxing authority. Property taxes, of course, make up about 94% of the revenue for the District. Georgia spoke to us about the mission of the District to “close the digital divide.” The District’s computers are used approximately 500,000 per year. A citizens’ committee was tasked with informing the District about the needs of the community and some of the services that the committee feels should be improved. With that, Georgia and the District found that to meet the needs of the community, the District would need more in tax revenue, in order to keep District technology up-do-date and ensure that the library is open to everyone. But the District is limited by Washington law (get ready for the boring part).
 
The District is authorized to impose a tax levy of up to $.50 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. However, any taxing district’s tax levy in 2019 cannot exceed that district's previous year’s levy (2018) by one percent, without lifting the 1% “lid.” Because of this statutory limitation, often, the tax rates of an applicable taxing district are “eroded.” This means that a taxing district could not collect say, more than $.43 per thousand if collecting anything above that would exceed the 1% limitation, even when that taxing district is authorized to collect, say $.50 per thousand. But Washington law also permits taxing authorities to “lift the 1% lid” and restore their tax levy with a majority vote of the people. That is what the Pierce County Library District is asking for on November 6: lifting the “lid” on the 1% so the district can restore its tax levy to $.50 per thousand.  
 
Georgia gave us a very informative presentation on how the District works, and all of the programs it provides (which includes STEM classes and coding camps, and of course, tutoring and community activities). Thank you, Georgia.
 
         
 
After Georgia finished her presentation, Rob Erb returned a rake and other gardening equipment to Gayle, which she had inadvertently left with him. She fined herself $20 and volunteered her consigliere, Rick Selden, to pay that fine.
 
For the Raffle, there was $300 in the pot. Tom Crabill drew the white chip for $5.
 
(one-liner jokes courtesy of ranker.com)
 
Read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up. Also, if you purchase anything online, do so on Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.
Next week’s program will be the Veterans Day Program, put on by our very own Lakewood Rotary Veterans.
 
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