From: Clay III, Edwin S.
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 10:38 AM
Cc: Molchany, Dave; Datta, Susan; 'Charles Fegan'; 'Donald Heinrichs'; Joseph(Dr.) Sirh (email@example.com); 'Karrie Delaney'; 'Koplitz, margaret'; Liz Clements; 'Michael Cutrone'; 'Michael Donovan'; 'Priscille Dando'; 'Suzanne Levy'; 'Willard Jasper'
Subject: Budget Message
The Library Board of Trustees, at its meeting last night, approved a budget submission that would eliminate 21 library aide positions in FY2016. This reduction would meet the 3% budget reduction all county agencies have been mandated to take. For the library, 3% translates to $800,000. In addition to the elimination of these positions, the library would eliminate extra funding in personnel to reach the required $800,000. We are still a long way from budget decisions, but these library aide positions will remain vacant in our current fiscal year, so no person would be displaced if this budget proposal is accepted by the County Executive and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
While we have implemented technology that will assist us in easing the pain of the reduced staffing, none of us would choose technology over the personal interaction with customers that make library services such an essential part of our community. I hope we will find a way to continue to serve our customers at the highest levels of customer service.
We will continue to discuss the impact changes such as these will make to current and future workloads, and with the help of the staffing equity committee, work to ensure we continue to meet the demands of customers without placing undue burden on our branch staff.
I know we are all looking forward to the days when the economic hardship will not be the driving force of change in the library; that eventually we will be the architects of evolving library services instead of recipients of imposed streamlining.
Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the job you do each and every day.
Since FY2007 when the FCPL budget peaked, the County's total budget has risen from $5.8 billion to $7.0 billion--a 21% increase--while the library budget has faded from $35.7 million--less than 6/10ths of one percent of the 2007 budget--to $27.9 million, a more than 21% cut. And that doesn't count the "real" impact of inflation over the period.
The County's total budget this year (FY2015) is up more than three percent (that's more than $200 million) from the preceding year's $6.7 billion. The proposed $800,000 cut in next year's library budget, while "only" three percent of the FCPL proposed budget, will contribute a miniscule 1/100 of a single percent shift to other County budget "priorities." Other than sheer meanness, what is the point of the cut when spending is expected to increase???
Yet the County staff, starting with its Executive and working down through its Deputy Executive, Library Director, and the FCPL Board of Trustees for some reason feels COMPELLED to cut another three percent from the library budget next year.
At what point will this idiot lunacy stop?