Simi Valley isn’t closing the door on outsourcing its libraries, however it has decided to allow the county to continue operating them for a year. It’s a choice that not many municipalities have had to make in the past, but AB 438 forced Simi’s hand and they sought bids for their library services.

AB 438 was designed to impede the ability of cities to withdraw from county-operated library systems. Once the law took effect, any city would have been required to demonstrate a clear and decisive cost savings. As a result, Simi Valley preemptively withdrew from the county system, but offered the county the opportunity to bid for the work.

The RFP went out, but the process was interrupted by a lawsuit saying the city broke the law in its withdrawal from the system. That lawsuit has protracted the process to such a point that the city would not be able to fully implement a new operator for the library system by July 1. Now, the city has decided to pursue a one-year deal with the county and reissue the RFP when the lawsuit is resolved.

From the Ventura County Star:

The Simi Valley City Council Monday night rejected three outside proposals to run its library in favor of letting Ventura County continue to administer it for another year.

The council unanimously approved a recommendation by the City Manager’s Office to authorize the office to negotiate a one-year extension of the current six-month agreement under which the county has continued to run the library ever since the city pulled out of the county library system in December. The council, acting as the library’s board of trustees, gave the authorization with virtually no discussion.

Read the full article here.