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!