Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

As President of the Louise & Lucile Hink-Tama Library Board, I was shocked to hear that the Tama City Council voted to slash the Library Budget by $50,000. I know many of you felt the same way. I had no idea something like this was being considered as the agenda item stated “Ambulance open position.” I do know that the Ambulance service tried and tried to get more volunteers and I support their efforts. It is an important city service, as is the library. Additionally, I’m concerned that the vote to cut library funds happened quickly without discussion of other possible areas that could have been considered for cuts. The main purpose of this letter is to provide some facts about the Library Budget.

Our budget was already cut by over $9,000 last spring. Our current operating budget totals $134.530. This covers items like salaries, utilities, book purchases, copy machine contract, computers and internet service. The proposed $50,000 reduction would amount to a 37% cut. Imagine if your boss told you that you were going to have to take a 37% pay cut! We do not have that kind of padding in our budget! Should this actually happen we would have to eliminate most of our part time employees. These employees are critical to the operation of our library as without them we would have to reduce the hours we are open.

When the budget cuts next show up on the Council Agenda I hope to be able to discuss with the council other areas where cuts would not be so devastating. I encourage all of you who support the library to make your feelings known either in person or by a letter of support dropped off at the library.

John Legg