In Tuesday’s Trentonian, ace reporter/award winning columnist L. A. Parker wrote that the East Trenton and Skelton Branch libraries would again host port-o-potties this summer to accommodate the anticipated number of kids participating in the reading programs.
According to the article, Library Director Kimberly Bray admitted that there had been no resolution to the limited bathroom facilities located in staff areas at the two older branches and no one had come up with the estimated $100,000 to due the needed renovation work.
Last year, the Trentonian reported the discovery of the port-o-potties still sitting on library property long after the summer reading program had ended and the school year had resumed. Mr. Parker even posed for the paper by sitting on one of the seats, pants at his ankles, looking as if he was settling in for a long comfortable “session.” The ensuing controversy added to the outcry over the poor oversight of the library system by the Mayor appointed board of trustees that became known with the announcement of budget cuts and staff layoffs.
Apparently not ready/willing to suffer more criticism for a repeat of the port-o-potty mess, Mayor Palmer told the Trentonian “That’s just not going to happen. We’re not going to have our kids put in that position again.”
What did the Missing Mayor offer as an alternative?
According to the Trentonian, Palmer suggested that Bray partner with local schools.
“School libraries could handle the large number of students in the summer reading program,” Palmer said.
Good idea, Doug. Can you give us some details on how this might work?
As we recall, when announced last fall that the branch libraries might have to close, you suggested a similar solution: use the school libraries. You were obviously ignorant of the fact or didn’t care that
a) the school libraries do not equate with the branch libraries when it comes to collections, programs, professional staffNow you are proposing a similar solution for the crowds of children expected to use the libraries over the summer. What has changed?
b) the school libraries are not readily secured from the rest of the school building and vice versa, leaving the buildings susceptible to roaming and potential mischief
1) The libraries have reduced their staff. How can they cover the reading program at the schools and the regular hours and activities at the branches?
2) The schools are not near enough to the existing branches in question to work as a viable alternative location for the reading program.
3) The school district is also facing a budget crisis and layoffs. How are they going to provide the required staff to open, oversee, maintain and close the buildings to accommodate the reading program?
Once again, Doug, you and your handpicked library board of trustees have failed to look beyond the end of your noses to the real needs and requirements of running a viable library system.
Surely, you could have used your charm and persuasiveness to coax some money out of the many developers, contractors, law firms, etc who have done well during your tenure. They could have underwritten the needed renovations to improve the bathroom facilities at these two branches so Director Bray would have a real alternative to renting port-o-potties.
Unfortunately, you would have to be here, in Trenton, regularly; doing the job you were elected to; rather than seeking that leg up for your sinking political career.
You failed again, sir. Moreover, you are too arrogant to realize it.