Excerpt: Ald. Jim Gischia, a member of the Finance Committee, had proposed cutting the library budget by $228,000 so the city could keep four police officer positions in the city budget for 2010.
But a library cut would have put Mead's participation in the Eastern Shores Library System in jeopardy because the city would fall below the funding threshold mandated by "maintenance of effort."
This wasn't an attack on the services the library performs or its value to the city and its residents. In the cash-strapped world of municipal budgeting, it is wise to search for ways to reduce spending — and at least keep local property taxes from rising.
Gischia's proposal to cut the library, while not popular with many, did get the discussion going. And, his call for funding the four police positions was the right one since the city has serious problems with drug dealing and gang activity.We urge the full council to agree to the fund transfer from Mead, meet the "maintenance of effort" mandate for the library and use the rest of the money to pay for the police positions.