Mayor Jerry Sanders to Library Supporters: I’m just not that into you

by on May 20, 2011 · 6 comments

in Economy, San Diego

It is budget season and we are treated to the parry and thrust, parry and thrust between the city council and our strong mayor. Back in April, Mayor Sanders proposed to rip 7.4 million dollars out of the library budget, keeping our branch libraries open 18.5 hours per week and laying off over 70 full-time library staff members.

Ocean Beach, Clairmont and University City immediately held rallies, petition drives and asked their council members to state their position on the library budget. Councilman Kevin Faulconer led the response with his commitment to restoring the full current budget to the library. Every single council member has committed to restoring full funding to the library.

And Mayor Sanders says “meh.” Our lame duck library adverse mayor comes back with a disgusting, utterly unacceptable budget “compromise” of keeping the lights on in one of each district’s libraries for 36 hours while the others go dark except for the 18.5 hours each week.  Big whoop!

Why is he doing this? The city council members have all weighed in on the library budget and have stated that there is indeed money to maintain the library department at the current (inadequate) level. The mayor certainly knows this is DOA. We all had a very public group hug at the city council hearing on libraries in which everyone had a chance to say that libraries are a core service.

I would like to believe that our strong mayor with whom I agree on very little is more than a vindictive, small human being that doesn’t get it when it comes to how constituents feel about their libraries. (I would like to believe in world peace, too.)

All of you library supporters out there – contact your council member one more time and make sure that they support full funding for our libraries!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Shelley Plumb May 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Mere words cannot express my outrage and frustration over this new ploy by Mayor Sanders. This revised plan for our libraries is outrageous and impractical. I live in council District One. If the one library in District One to remain open at present hours is, for example, in Rancho Peñasquitos (which is also in District One), how is that going to help me — or the kids that walk to our library in University City after school — or the seniors that frequent the library in the morning to read the paper or use the computers? C’mon people rise up and say: THIS HAS GOT TO END! OUR LIBRARIES ARE OFF THE TABLE!

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avatar annagrace May 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

It is jaw dropping that the mayor justified his restoration of rec center hours because he was thinking of the children. Does he think the thousands of “little people” attending our libraries are leprechauns?

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avatar Sandy Lippe May 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

“What is important in a library than anything else-than everything else-is that it exists.” Archibald MacLeish

The reinvented library is a community center like a bee hive. So much activity of importance is going on since librarians reinvented these libraries. Last week some of us read, did research, went to a concert, held a meeting, saw art, and enjoyed using a computer. We came together in our favorite community center, the library, and some of us checked out books and read to our kids and grandkids.
I would love to hear from the librarians, but there is the sound of silence that fills the air, while ordinary people rage at the idea of touching the library budget, the core service that serves those who make a life and not just a living in each little and big community in San Diego.
Who would move into a community with a library open 2 days a week? Remember common sense. It’s gone out the window of City Hall.
sandy beach

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avatar annagrace May 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm

“Who would move into a community with a library open 2 days a week ” is a valid question. The reality is that people who are in the position to choose one neighborhood over another do care about library services and hours. I think it was a Philadelphia study that showed that property values are positively affected by proximity to a library. I assume that it is “open” libraries.

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avatar pat todd May 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

I don’t suppose that we could impeach him. Too bad.

We should congratulate him, though, on his attempts to dumb down our citizens.

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