Monday, November 10, 2008

Library Branches Saved...For Now

Palmer plan appears to block citizen efforts on library's behalf.

In a press conference at City Hall this afternoon a plan was announced that would keep the main Trenton library and the four branches open, but with reduced hours for the remainder of this fiscal year and the next one. An exception was granted from the state that would allow the reduction in hours.

Whle this is good news in the short term, there is a disturbing side story.

In announcing various steps to be undertaken to shore up the library's precarious finanical condition, Palmer stated that the Board of the Library is to "create a foundation that will work with and report to the Executive Director and Board to raise signifcant funds for multi-year capital projects as part of the long-term strategic plan." {view the full release here}

Oh no he didn't!

There is already a foundation in the works that has been successfully raising money in no small part because it is independent of the current Board of Trustees.

And the long dormant Friends of the Library group has revived itself and is working to be another, autonomous support agency for the Library.

Both of these groups exist in their current state simply because it has become apparent that the Library board cannot and/or will not carry on it's mandated function in a reliable, transparent and responsible manner.

For Doug Palmer to suggest that the very parties responsible for the mess the library system is in could and should oversee an entity charged with raising substantial funds is dangerously wrong.

At the very least, it is a slap in the face to those who've stepped up, on their own and in spite of the current leadership to support the libraries.

In the worst case scenario, it is yet another attempted power grab by the control hungry Palmer as well as a complete denial of the utter failure of the current library board. A board, don't forget, that includes his sister; is headed by a long-time family friend, and of which every member is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of Despot Doug.

When will Palmer learn to play nice, and fairly, with others so that the city he claims to love can truly progress?

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