Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We Need Your Support!

FY2012 Library Budget

Concerns about the Current Budget Proposal

  1. The Library, one year after surviving potential elimination and being saved by the voters of the town, is once again a target for devastating cuts that are disproportionately targeted at the Library and its users.
  2. The Library’s FY2011 funding was secured by an override vote where Orange citizens voted to raise their taxes to fund the Library at state mandated levels. The very first year that the override funds for the library are vulnerable, the current proposal would take a total of 23.7 percent ($62,291) away from what the Library received in 2011, funds that the friends of the libraries worked so hard to win for the library, and which were approved by a 60/40 majority of voters.
  3. Even the 6/20/11 Town Meeting funding level (a 9.2% cut over FY2012) has already necessitated applying for a waiver to remain certified and closing on Saturdays.  The proposed level of cuts would require a further reduction in hours open to the public and to services offered, at a time when town residents are in dire need of library service.  As pointed out to the finance committee, the town citizens receive $4.34 in services for every $1.00 spent on the Library.  Library service is especially valuable in hard economic times for the unemployed and the poor.
  4. Most disturbing of all, the Library is being asked to cut 23.7% of its budget, while the average cut across town departments is 14.7%.  In other words, the Library is being asked to accept a 61% larger cut than the overall average for town departments. 
Proposed 2012
All Departments
(excluding-Education, Debt Service, Insurance, etc.)




General Government


Public Safety


Public Works


Human Services




Trustee Budget Proposal

2011 Budget                         263,225
Cut Library at 14.7%              38,694
2012 Budget                         224,531

Additional cut from 6/20/2011 budget
6/20/11 Budget                     239,062
Proposed budget                 224,531
Additional cut needed           14,531

Proposed 2012 Library Budget Lines
Library Director Salary            49,945
Library Wages                      129,823
Library Expenses                   44,763
Total                                    224,531

Increase over current proposal  23,597

Bottom Line

The trustees request that$23,597 be restored to the Library budget to make the Library’s cuts proportional, and that any further cuts from the 6/20/11 budget be taken from the Library expense line, not salaries and wages.  The Library staff has already voluntarily taken a 10% cut for all 52 weeks of FY2012, and further wage and salary cuts would directly result in further reductions in Library hours.

This request was voted unanimously by the Wheeler Memorial Library Trustees at their October 14, 2011 Special Meeting.

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