Friday, July 10, 2009

"Close Library/Eliminate General Fund support"

As part of the "Plan for Closing the Long-Term Budget Gap", the following strategy is being presented to the City Council on Wednesday, July 15th.

"Based on City Council priorities established in March 2009, library services is of secondary priority, to be pursued upon resource availability after public safety and infrastructure maintenance are secured. Given the minimal hours of operation and staffing levels in place already, we must consider elimination of General Fund support altogether. If this option is adopted, staff would work to determine whether there is an effective model that relies heavily on volunteers to keep the library open at a fraction of the current cost. If such a model appears feasible, the savings from this strategy could be reduced. The City Council will also consider a special tax to continue library operations as a separate agenda item on July 15th. If a tax measure is approved by voters and the City Council wished to keep the library open until special tax revenues would be received in December 2010, this savings option may not be available until the spring of 2010, with full effect not realized until FY 2010/11."

This strategy would save the City $400,000 per year, (out of a $15 million dollar budget).

To express your views on this topic, contact your City Council Members and attend the City Council meeting on July 15th at 6 pm.
(We have been informed that Agenda Items pertaining to the Library may not be discussed until 7:30 or 8 pm due to the lengthy agenda.)


Anonymous said...

What is the City and Council thinking????

"Given the minimal hours of operation and staffing levels in place already AND THE STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE LIBRARY AS DEMONSTRATED IN CITY SURVEYS AND THE PASSAGE OF MEASURE U, we must consider INCREASING General Fund Support.

We keep telling them the Library is important to us. We've passed one tax already. Let them pass a tax measure for the police to pay for their raise. No more cuts to the Library!

Anonymous said...

This is such disappointing news. I was hoping that Carmelita Garcia, Bill Kampe, and Deborah Lindsay would truly support the Library as promised during their campaigns.

I don't understand why the Council doesn't listen to their constituents.

I'm willing pay a tax specifically for the Library, (not $95, but up to $45). But I want the City to support the Library with General Fund money too. Let's all share the cost. The Library is too valuable an asset to lose.

Anonymous said...

This is utterly insane. Does the PG Council want to go down in history as the Council that killed PG? What in the hell is going on in the Last Home Town?! Where are the citizens who are being jerked around - when is this going to end? Come forward and scream murder - you can't let this happen - where is ALA?

Larry Gaber said...

Unlike the requirements to be a council member, mayor or other elected official, a competent library staff that provides quality library service to all the community requires specific education, training and experience. You can't run a library with a volunteer staff. Just look at Pacific Grove "leadership" and you can see what it would be like. What a waste of a valuable resource.

Anonymous said...

When the Salinas Library was facing closure, that community rallied to get the libraries open again. The process took a year & a half--PG is considering trying to get this accomplished in 2 months, with no warning and no plan--just here it is, yes or no? $95 is too much, so I hope the Council will consider negotiating the cost down, i.e., what kind of private fund-raising can be accomplished to supplement? Although I don't live in PG, I use the PG Library most and donate to the Book Fund & to the Friends of the Library on a regular basis. Libraries are considered an essential service to many, especially when money is tight.

Pamela, Librarian said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and with one another. Your feedback is important.

Please bear in mind this is a public forum. Therefore, kindly refrain from using expletives in your comments, and please treat one another with respect.

Having said that, let the discussion continue...

Anonymous said...

Who's responsible for "the minimal hours of operation and staffing levels in place already" ? The City Council.

Who recommends Library cuts and closure every year? The City Council.

They make it sound like they had nothing to do with the current dismal situation, despite the fact that they have been steadily and systemically dismantling a valuable city asset and resource.

It makes no short-range or long-range sense to close the Library. Not from a business stand point. Not from a quality-of-life stand point. Not from a real estate stand point. Not from a civic stand point.

I agree with comment #1: NO MORE CUTS TO THE LIBRARY.

Tim said...

I am a long-time PG registered voter. I would vote for local taxes that would allow the library to remain open and return to its historic levels of service. While bonds and regressive taxes that favor the rich are cowardly, I would support even those to get things moving. As a community, we must come to grips with the need to tax ourselves at a rate that is sufficient for the services we want and need.

Tim Levin

Anonymous said...

There have already been too many cuts to this core community resource - no more cuts! In this economy the ability to have access to reading materials, information and computers is more important that even. It is an insult to the professional and valued library staff to suggest that volunteers can provide the same level of assistance to those of us that use the library for research. The library is a critical component in an intellegent and sustainable community.

Anonymous said...

I echo the need for a professional staff. Libraries don't get accredited. The librarians who work at the library graduate from an accredited school. That's how the quality of the library is maintained.

I am disgusted with the actions of our council.

Anonymous said...

Are they kidding about volunteers running the library? Get real -- they'd be eviscerated if they suggested volunteers teach their children. I am afraid they are showing great disrespect for our wonderfully professional library crew.

And what happens if the proposed tax measure fails in November? No library in 2010?