Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Don’t cut the public libraries’ budget

Letter by Lilly Warnick, Tacoma on April 30, 2010 at 10:09 am | 6 Comments »
April 30, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: “Library in cross hairs as revenue falls short” (TNT, 4-28).

Tacoma’s city government has a budget shortfall, and the libraries, of all places, are targeted to take the hit. Yes, the libraries, one of the few free sources of education, information and entertainment.

It wasn’t long ago, when the recession first hit in late December 2008, that we learned the City Council had given large raises to employees at a time when other cities were laying off workers and cutting or freezing salaries. The rationale was that adjustments were being made to bring pay in line with current market rates. The city’s administration reported it was manageable, and the council thought it important.

Fast forward to the general fund budget for 2009-10. The city finds itself with a budget shortfall and has recommended a $1.6 million cut from the library’s budget, a budget that is already bare bones, having already reduced library hours, staffing and materials. So, what’s left to cut?

We recently heard Tacoma’s citizens giving a resounding “yes” to the parks. Let’s now tell the city the libraries need similar support.

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