According to Carlos Avila's report in this morning's Trentonian, Mayor Tony Mack continues to blame the board of trustees of the Trenton Free Public Library for the branch closings two years ago.
“I have been working diligently to reopen all four of these buildings since the Trenton Free Public Library Board decided to close them in August of 2010,” he said.
That is his side of the story. And it is just plain wrong.
In a letter dated September 13, 2010, TFPL Trustee Virginia Dietrich writes:
"The over $1M reduction to this year's budget has had a devastating effect on our ability to provide neighborhood services. Your generous offer of an additional $350,000 funding would be a welcome addition to the $2.1M allocation the City has already committed for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Unfortunately, it is not enough to cover the cost of your proposed plan for a 3-7 pm 5 day per week schedule at all four Branch locations. As we detailed in the budget sent to your office on August 20, 2010, the Library would need an additional $845,952 for a total allocation of $2,945,962 to implement your plan."There it is, ladies and gentlemen, in plain English.
"Unfortunately, it is not enough to cover the cost of your proposed plan for a 3-7 pm 5 day per week schedule at all four Branch locations."The question that needs to be asked by citizens, taxpayers, the governing body and the mayor's own administration is simply this:
If you cannot afford to fund the TFPL to provide the hours and services you want, how can you find the money (according to this report in the Times, now up to $75,000 per "learning center" per year from the $30,000 stated on April 30) to operate this parallel system of ersatz libraries?
Tell the truth, Mayor Mack.