Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sheboygan's Finance Committee: Public Safety Trumps Library

Mead Public Library

to November 11 Sheboygan Press article, "Cut library, keep cops, mayor urged".

Excerpt: The City of Sheboygan is considering a proposal to cut funding to Mead Public Library in next year's budget in order to keep four police officer positions from going unfilled.

The move would reduce the city's property tax levy allocation to the library by $225,000 and put the library below the minimum funding level mandated by the state for inclusion in the Eastern Shores Library System, which could result in library patrons losing access to the system's online catalog and interlibrary loan and delivery service.

The funds would instead be used to fill the four police officer positions.

Mayor Bob Ryan had proposed leaving the police officer positions vacant as part of his 2010 budget, but the Common Council's Finance Committee asked him to reconsider during a four-hour budget meeting Monday night, where committee members recommended cutting library funding to pay for the officers.

"Public safety is such a high priority," Ald. Jim Gischia said during an interview Tuesday. "That doesn't mean the library is a zero priority, but I side with the protection of the citizens."

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