Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Erie County Exec Builds a Surplus by Pulling the Rug from Under the Library

Editorial: A political budget surplus. Collins made some wrong choices in his election-year spending cuts. (Buffalo News, 4/27/2011)

Excerpt:  Where governing and politics collide is in the way Collins produced some of this surplus.

He has endangered the health of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System.

Because of Collins’ choices, the library is considering establishing its own taxing district. Before it can do that, it has to safely overcome a funding chasm of $7 million next year. At this point, no one seems to know how—or if—that can be done.

We don’t think a taxing district is a good idea and, indeed, are surprised that Collins, a conservative, would be pushing for a new tax. Wouldn’t it have been better—again, it’s about choices— to give the library time to deal with reduced funding before pulling the rug from underneath it? Maybe that would have been bad politics, but it would have been better government. Which is more important?

Related articles:
Funding picture gets progressively worse.  (2/26/2011)
Unhappy times continue.  (1/21/2011)
Library officials ask for final decision on budget. (12/22/2010)
Additional funding for library but not for arts groups.  (12/12/2010)
Legislators restore County Executive's $4,000,000 cut to library - for now.  (12/2/2010)
"No more worthwhile program of service".  (11/14/2010)
A bibliopocalypse @ the library.  (11/6/2010)
WBEN online poll offers 3 general options for public library future. (10/31/2010)
Reimagining the library.  (10/27/2010)
Budget cuts = reduced hours.  (10/21/2010)
Deep cuts (again) in the works.  (9/17/2010)
Editorial puts in 'a word about libraries'.  (8/30/2010)
Library could lose 25% of funding.  (8/19/2009)

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