Monday, December 7, 2009

Community Library Board Member Wields Machete to Address $1,000 Deficit

Link to December 6 Kenosha News article, "Board seeks library cost cuts".

Excerpt: The Community Library Board is seeking to cut spending for the coming year but is divided over how to do it.

Options range from reducing hours to laying off employees.

Under the library’s operating agreement with member communities Salem, Silver Lake, Paddock Lake, Randall and Twin Lakes, the library already has funding in place for 2010, approximately $1.2 million to run three libraries.

Library Board President Marlene Goodson, also president of Paddock Lake, said the existing budget for 2010 has a small deficit, about $1,000, [RG's emphasis: is this it?] in part because of increased employee retirement costs that will occur when Twin Lakes takes over as fiscal agent for the district, a change that forces the library to move its employees to the state employee retirement system.

Facing those increased costs, the finance committee presented a series of three options to the board last week, including reducing employee hours, closing the libraries at 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m. during some portions of the year, or closing the libraries on very low-traffic days, such as the day after Thanksgiving.

Cuts would allow the district to maintain spending on library materials and build a capital improvement fund, Goodson said.

Board member Kenneth Mangold says he doesn't want to seem cold and heartless, but then why is he making such drastic suggestions?
  • Combine 4 supervisor positions into 2.
  • Eliminate in-house computer services.
  • Cut 3 part-time gardeners.
According to the 2008 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data, the Community Library's materials budget expenditures totaled $123,020. At the risk of sounding cold and heartless myself, wouldn't it be worth it to bite the bullet and cut the $1,000 from this account-- if there is indeed no other wiggle room in the budget and if $1,000 is all we're talking about.

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