Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 21 Council meeting (I)

Again for a documentary accounting of last nights Council meeting read Plaintalker II, and the Courier probably the Wednesday print edition, the on line edition may have something posted later Tuesday. I am going to limit my blog to generalities rather than specifics.

Before the five members of the Council got down to business there was a presentation by Joseph Da Rold director of the library regarding the city's contribution to the Library's operations. He present three scenarios depending on the amount of funding the Library would receive. Ideally the Library to operate effectively as a treasured community resource would have budget of 1.9 million but that could be reduced to 1.6 million with changes in the health care benefits. If the FY2010 cuts are not restored the library would have to terminate 6 full time and 8 part time positions.

Mr. Da Rold stated that the present plans expressed by City Administration was based on a position that the Library was not part of the city government. In that case there would be a loss of up to 198 full timers, plus further reduction in hours. There was disagreement from the City Administrator ob that issue.

About a dozen passionate speakers addressed the Council on behalf of the Library. It is obvious that in cost cutting times an institution such as the Library has a low priority on the Administration's budget determination.

Plainfield in 2008 had two institutions of great social and community importance. Without them the city would have no attraction for potential homeowners. One Muhlenberg Hospital we permitted to be stolen from us. The other is the Library which is a regional resource. We can not permit it to wither away from lack of funding. Without a full functioning library, Plainfield will have no attraction for revitalization as perceived by the "Vision task force".

Continued later today.

This issue will be one reviewed on the 28th special meeting.

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