It appears that there are sufficient city council votes to veto the mayor’s library budget proposal. There is also a commitment to identify funding sources to cover the 7.2 million dollars needed to maintain current library hours, services and staff. That is good news!
Most of the council discussion at this point is about the other sources of money that can be potentially tapped. The office of Independent Budget Analysis (IBA) identified 15 million dollars of on going revenue. There has already been a push back from the mayor’s office on some of these and the council hasn’t reached consensus yet on this issue. This is where the sausage of government will be made and it will be interesting to see how much sacred cow it will contain.
There was a council hearing on the utilization of volunteers on May 9. It is impossible for any number of reasons to offset the library’s 7.2M shortfall in FY’11 through volunteer services. Councilmembers Zapf and DeMaio are hanging on to this issue however, and it is worth a post of its own. Stay tuned.
Budget hearings will continue through the end of May. The library funding will not be raised as a separate issue again. Library supporters did a terrific job of figuring out the issues and presenting a strong unified position early in the process. It made all the difference.
The City Council will take formal action on the mayor’s total budget proposal in June, and the library budget will be addressed within that context. It is important for us to be aware of the final wording of their action. Vigilance is a good thing–we need to stay in touch with our council offices.
We are painfully aware about how difficult it is stay informed about the budget process. There are some good resources at our disposal. The IBA budget analysis is available here .
The City Council meetings are archived online with dockets and reports on the left hand side of their homepage here.