"Berkeley gets another sobering look at the reality of the Era Of Diminishing Budgets tonight (Tuesday, March 9) when the director of the Berkeley Public Library is expected to propose laying off 16 employees and closing the main library on Sunday."
Cutbacks Ahead for Morgan Hill
"Hard times are ahead for Morgan Hill’s library since a request for an additional $8.34 a year for property owners to keep the doors open and books on the shelves was deemed too expensive for many voters. The parcel tax is currently $33.66. . . .Morgan Hill City Librarian Nancy Howe is bracing for bad times because of Tuesday’s vote. 'We’re expecting layoffs and reduced hours,' said Howe. 'It’s unknown at this point at what level the state cuts will be but one scenario has us looking at a 30 percent budget cut. Morgan Hill’s hours will probably go from 54 down to 30 hours a week.'
Howe said it’s likely that the library will remain closed one day besides Sunday and there would be reduced hours on all other days.
. . .County head librarian Melinda Cervantes’s week wasn’t any better than Howe’s and her predictions are the same. 'There will be layoffs. Books and materials budgets will be reduced,” Cervantes said. “This is a library system that has been through this before. We’ll have to go through it again.'"
Bonds, Taxes and Fees
"State leaders are enjoying a bit of financial relief this week thanks to a $15 billion bailout passed by California voters, but cities and schools had mixed results in their varied requests for new local taxes, fees and bonds. . . .Six of nine hotel taxes succeeded, although voters in San Diego rejected a proposal to raise their hotel room tax by 2.5 percent to 13 percent. The new tax would have brought in about $34 million more a year for emergency services as well as libraries, arts, parks and tourism promotion."
Gilroy Not so Lucky
". . .the Santa Clara County library system’s attempt to stave off a 21 percent cut in funding failed. . . .Gilroy librarian Lani Yoshimura was hard-pressed to describe her feelings as disappointing Measure B results poured in Tuesday night. . . .The measure was aimed at restoring a $42-per-parcel tax used to maintain community library levels of service. It failed to garner the two-thirds voter approval required for it to pass. Only 60.7 percent of voters supported the measure.
'From what we could gather from our volunteers there was a very positive reaction to the measure,” Yoshimura said. “We were anticipating 66 percent of the vote.'
Failure to pass the bill means Gilroy’s library will likely cut back its hours of operation from 54 hours a week to 30 hours a week."
Thank You, Oakland!!!!
". . .a tax measure to boost services at the city's beleaguered library system also won. . . .Measure Q was placed on the ballot by the City Council in order to avoid further cuts to the library system, which has had its budget slashed twice since 2002. The measure should generate enough revenue to keep library branches open more often and buy new books and other materials.
The libraries measure will cost each Oakland homeowner $75 a year, or $6. 25 a month, to restore funds for the city's library system. It is expected to raise about $9 million a year through 2024."
End State Raids on Local Revenue
"Volunteers statewide are working on a petition to get an initiative on the November ballot that would prohibit the state government from taking local revenue from local governments without a public vote."