New chapter for county library system

More cities would have a say over how the Sonoma County Library operates, including whether to increase hours when certain branches are open, under proposed revisions to a joint powers agreement to be unveiled today.

A revamped library commission, presumably with members drawn from all nine cities in the county, also would play a more prominent role in budget affairs, including having the ability to seek new taxes that could in theory help cover costs for expanded hours and services.

The review of the 1975 agreement was launched in October amid a torrent of criticism over Library Director Sandy Cooper's management style and the commission's perceived acquiescence to her demands.

Cooper, 67, announced her retirement in June. Her last day is Friday.

North County Supervisor Mike McGuire led the review, which was widely interpreted as a bid on the part of the supervisors to gain more control of the library system, including possibly the ability to hire and fire the director.

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