3/12/2010

Library Budget Vote

Posted by MJ



The Lockport Library budget vote is coming up April 7th.

Library Budget Vote
2010/2011 proposed budget
April 7, 2010 ~ 10:00 a.m.—9:00 p.m.
Community Meeting Room
Public Information Meeting
March 18, 2010 ~ 7:00 p.m.
Community Meeting Room
You must be a registered voter in the Lockport City School District to vote.
2010/2011 Budget Information for Voters
Tax levy increase from 2009/2010: $34,211
Total request from tax levy: $1,278,258
Total budget from all sources: $1,540,266
Total budget increase from all sources: $54,077
(See budget detail.)
The proposed increase is $34,211 (2.75%) from property tax support over 2009/2010 appropriation.
The proposed increase, if approved by voters, will be applied to increased operating costs, maintaining library collections and services, computer access, library programs, access to collections, and services via our Web site.
How is the money used?
To sustain library operations and provide services.
In 2009:
229,741 people visited the library.
30,371 people have library cards.
436,859 items were borrowed.
21,529 reference questions were answered.
11,265 children, teens and families attended 361 library programs.
1,423 adults attended 44 programs.
Library services include:
  • A broad collection of materials including a variety of formats: books, large print books, CDs, DVDs, audio books, magazines, and downloadable audio books, as well as personalized service to help you find information.
  • Access to the Internet and online databases.
  • 24/7 reference services, allowing patrons to submit questions electronically 24 hours per day.
  • A community meeting room that serves over 80 organizations at no cost.
  • A wireless connection for people with laptops.
  • A community gathering place to read, think, create and communicate.
  • A selection of programs for children, teens, and adults
 Take a small survey here

26 comments:

boolsrimportant said...

I'm wondering what everybody thinks about the library spending so much money on dvd's and computer games as opposed to buying new books. It drives me nuts to see people taking out 7 dvd's at a time, while I struggle to find books to read in there.
What does everybody think, should the library (or should I say we as taxpayers) be in the business of buying dvd's and video games, or should the budget concentrate on buying library materials?

Rocketboy said...

An anon comment from a different post
"I think the library does a great job for our community. They offer a lot of programs for our kids which are always well attended. I think the library is a great value for the people especially with the economy the way it is. Where else can you get so much - books, DVDS, etc. - for free. Just need a library card."

Really? Free?

So where does the money come from?

There is no reason that non-education video games, holywood movies, or popular music CD's should be purchased, stored, and loaned on the dime of the taxpayer.

Heck, I don't think that I should be paying for 'free' internet access either.

Lockport Mom said...

We have a wonderful library. I do admit to borrowing many tapes, cds, dvds, etc. over the years and my children have also attended many of the programs that were offered. I have also donated several items and supported the library whenever it was possible. Unfortuanately we're all feeling the crunch and it's important that we figure out ways to keep our taxes from getting more out of control. If we want to continue these extra services such as internet access, and borrowing dvds & cds, perhaps we should start charging a fee. Also maybe we should start charging a fee for non-City of Lockport residents.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with other comments regarding cds & dvds however, I think internet access is important for students who don't have internet at home. I think the wealth of educational information that is available on the internet should be accessible to all.

Another thought, maybe cds, dvds, & internet help the library draw in individuals that otherwise may not visit the library. Maybe that is community outreach in an urban area???

Anonymous said...

Okay...but you'd be surprised to see how many people you'd consider "needy" that have computers with the internet and how many people go to the library to get on the internet and access things that aren't really necessary- such as porno and games. We don't need to be using our tax paper dollars for more " urban out reach!" That's half the reason we are in the state we're in - No pun intended!

Rocketboy said...

It should not be the library's job to "draw in individuals". There is no real gain from that, other than to give the library it give it greater self-justification. Also, I would be lying if I did not say that there were benefits to public access to the internet. But if you extrapolate that argument out, well, there's a good reason to own a home, a car, have access to the full suite of available cable channels, receive satellite radio, own a cell phone, etc. It's not a good argument, because the line does have to be drawn somewhere. I just draw it on the side of caution.

Here's something that's a revolutionary idea.

If tax receipts go up, due to a good economy, they get more money. If receipts go down due to a bad economy, they get less money.

What is the true result of taxes being raised? In a few more years taxes will just be raised again.

And again.

And again.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should let the library know in the survey if they don't want to see their tax money going to dvd's and games.
I don't mind internet access either, technically it is needed for 'research' so OK. I just really can't stand to be their searching for a new book to read without success and then seeing people in line with 7 dvd's they are taking home!
And I do think the library knows about this thread, watch for more posts from new people such as 'mom' extolling the virtues of our video rental store-- err I mean library.
Check out the definition of 'library', it doesn't say a place to go get movies to watch!
n., pl., -ies.

1.
1. A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending.
2. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.
3. A room in a private home for such a collection.
4. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection.
2. A commercial establishment that lends books for a fee.
3. A series or set of books issued by a publisher.
4. A collection of recorded data or tapes arranged for ease of use.
5. A set of things similar to a library in appearance, function, or organization: a library of computer programs.
6. Genetics. A collection of cloned DNA sequences whose location and identity can be established by mapping the genome of a particular organism.

[Middle English librarie, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin librārium, bookcase, from neuter of librārius, of books, from liber, libr-, book.]

Anonymous said...

and by the way, I think you will see more posts extolling the virtues of our library or should I say free video rental store here, such as the one 'lockport mom' wrote. I was told the library knows about this thread and is encouraging people/employees to stand up for their rights to use our tax dollars to buy these movies instead of new books.

MJ said...

I think the Library is there to make sure information is available to everyone regardless of social class and to promote literacy. In today's society the internet is a huge part of it. (even though it can be used to play games etc...)

As for DVDs I see no problem with them as long as the are educational, documentaries, etc. I see a very reduced value in providing pure entertainment movies. If someone needs to see Twilight, they can head over to Family Video and probably get it for $1.

concerned said...

MJ - Agree with all your thoughts. The thing is they the library is full of movies such as Twilight, I'm sure there are some documentaries but that isn't what they buy. They think it's a success if they get all these people who don't use the library for reading to come in, I disagree. If people don't want to read go to Family Video and rent a movie, but is shouldn't be the library's job to provide it.

Great essay by Joyce Carol Oates on the front page of the Buf News today about Lockport. It sounds like one of her fondest memories is the library.
WHERE WE SHE BE NOW IF SHE WENT TO THE LIBRARY AS A CHILD AND JUST GOT MOVIES TO RENT INSTEAD OF BOOKS TO READ??? Probably a couch potato somewhere.....

Jack Smith said...

The question then becomes, will you exercise your right and vote on the budget, or simply be satisfied with expressing your displeasure here. I intend to vote down any increase in taxes, City, School, and Library.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to not blindly say that, instead intelligently look at things and decide myself - for example the school budget. How do you think they can possibly make $8M of cuts? I do agree with the library budget though, it could have been cut.

Rocketboy said...

3:49 Anon... What happened to the surplus that we had not that long ago?

The answer cannot always be 'more taxes'. It just cannot be. Because there is never a year where the answer is 'less taxes'. Unless the size of the school system is growing, or the amount of services that are being provided grows, there is no justification for raising taxes.

Granted, this is a special case, as they will not be receiving as much state money, but what kind of screwed up system is it that we have that we write a check to Albany, who in turn cashes it, processes it, and sends it back to us? A local school system should never have to depend on state money.

Also, I don't know if you are aware of what's been going on in the private sector lately. There are still hiring freezes. Wage freezes. Layoffs. Everything has been stagnating for the past few years. When public sectors carry on without regard of what's going on in the private sector, well, look at the messes we allow ourselves to get into.

Lockport Mom said...

Yes Rocketboy I agree. We must stop the insanity-our taxes will never decrease and it's becoming increasingly difficult to live in New York state.

Let's face it, if we don't try to hold the line now, things will just get worse. Decisions should be made on what monies are available. I have to spend within my means and can't keep relying on someone to bail me out. I have to make adjustments and make do with less when the money isn't there. Why should the government be different?

Jack Smith said...

as George Muscato pointed out last week, as taxes continue to rise, we have less and less money to spend on the maintenance and improvement of our homes, if we aren't able to maintain and improve our homes the assessment value goes down and so conversely our tax rate must go up. So if property quality and value goes down, and taxes go up, what will be the end result? People move away, houses are left vacant, and then the City sinks deeper and deeper into the abyss. So, what's my point? I can "blindly" say, I will vote against any tax increase. If personnel have to be cut, starting at the top and working to the bottom, well, welcome to the real world where a vast majority of taxpayers live!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Joyce Carol Oates could donate the $35,000! ;)

MJ said...

Looking at the proposed budget, 70% of it is for payroll and supplemental payroll expenses. That seems huge. I guess it could be because of small overall budget relative to needed people power? (maybe it is or isn't). Either way only 10.65% is going into the a actual library materials.

What is the national average? Anyone in the private sector knows that funding requests must come with benchmarks, etc. I must say that this breakdown is better than information that I have seen from the school district. Do they have any breakdowns publicly available? But overall it is still lacking in being able to make a fully informed choice.

Where does this tax levy show up in our bills?

wrightontime said...

Jack, I think your a hard worker and will dig for answers, but try has you may, your post about voting against any tax increase and cutting from the top show me you have no idea how public sector works.

Anonymous said...

The public sector needs to start changing how they work otherwise we will all be bankrupt before you know it. WE, the private sector PAY THEIR JOBS!

Jack Smith said...

Wrightontime, please do not confuse my refusal to accept the status quo when dealing with the public sector with being clueless. The status quo is what got us in this mess to begin with, it is time joe taxpayer pushes back. Unless, of course, we want to see our taxes go up year after year after year after year aft....

Rocketboy said...

I think we know all too well how the public sector works. As a matter of fact, I would even surmise that it's the public sector that has no idea how the private sector works.

Anonymous said...

Jack - I agree with wright, look back to you wanting to waste $9,000,000 tax dollars on Genessee St. Private sector people would never think that was worthwhile, they would have asked the simple question as to how you can spend over $1,000,000 per house on a house anywhere!
Waste needs to be stopped everywhere, even on 'pet projects' of politicians.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jack...it is too late for the mentality of wright on time--the public sector isn't working for us--just look around you.

Every time our property taxes increase by $80 per thousand, our property value decreases--they are directly related.

I can't believe people are so blind to the increasing Lockport blight. When the population is declining and the average wage according to the census is around $20,000, we need to make every effort to match government spending to local available resources.

Jack is being proactive in his desire for taxpayers to be able to afford to keep their homes and improve our quality of life.

The public sector is choking the life out of Lockport!

wrightontime said...

The mentality of wrightontime is that if Jack wants to lead the charge, his efforts could start at a movement to decrease Boards and Councils, then target Administration and Dept. Heads, consolidate Departments and take advantage of the millions of dollars the State and Federal govt. offer to do this. Jack should know that in the public sector cuts always first affect the low seniority, less paying, decreased benefit package first. He should know this after reading employee contracts before commenting and removing all doubt. He would also look smarter than he did shouting at the School Board meeting and spelling his name like a smarta$$. But, like I said before he is a hard worker and I like his ideas about targeting blight by turning an eye towards bad landlords and tenants.

MJ said...

I took Jack's comment as cut form the top as reffering to administration etc. Maybe you both are reffering to the same thing?

We all know most unions are based solely on senority. I see how it can in help in a way to avoid favoritism etc but it does a lot of harm in not rewarding based on productivity, etc. We all know that the only way to cut short term is retirements.

At this time the union seems to prefer X dollars saved through layoffs than the same X dollars saved through an even % reduction off of everyone's salary. Senority helps this since everyone knows who is saved and who will go. Other places without the senority you see people agreeing to a temporary wage freeze etc.

As for Jack spelling his name, everyone did. It was a rule and a few people with "easy" names acted in the same manner. Nor did I take his tone as shouting.

I'll open a post in a few on the "property points"

Anonymous said...

I think Jack was beginning from the assumption that we are well aware that the only way to make union cuts is by attrition--lay-offs due to cuts in programs and services.

Cutting from the top would then mean making administrative cuts--setting an example by cutting a few of these six figure salaries would save the taxpayers a million dollars in a couple of years.

Do Elementary principals really need a director in addition to the superintendent? Didn't they get a degree in leadership and administration? Why do preschool teachers need the recently created position of director of early childhood programs at the BOE in addition to the superintendent? Why do we have an assistant superintendent for learning and assessment and a also director of assessment and technology? Seems like we have some costly overlap at the BOE as our student enrollment continues to decline.

Jack's comments are very timely and more taxpayers need to support his efforts.

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