There are four new schools coming on stream, including a high school on Wellington Street. At the start, the high school will have six hundred students which will grow to thirteen hundred as grades are added. They will be within walking distance of the library which means Children's Library Services will be under even more pressure than that which we are currently unable to meet.
Councillor Gallo pointed out schools have their own libraries and librarians. The claim startled me. I haven't had children in the school system for several generations but I understood the Province had literally wiped out school libraries with cuts in funding some years ago. Librarian Louise Procter-Maio, confirmed my understanding .So that settles the matter. The board cannot provide necessary service without an additional librarian. From a cost perspective it is certainly cheaper to provide a librarian in the town library than one in every school in town.
Growth means increased revenue. New homeowners pay their share of taxes. I would argue development charges paid when permits for new homes are issued, means they pay more. Ninety-per-cent of the cost of new facilities are funded from D.C.revenues. .
A puerile little comi- drama was played out in council a couple of weeks ago. Councillor Collins-Mrakas and myself were asked to explain a year-end surplus in the Board's collection budget. The question was posed by Councillor Wilson, who also serves on the Library Board. To the obvious amusement of the other side of the table, including the Mayor, we were unable to provide the answer. The board had not received the year-end financial statement of the library. It had been forwarded to the Town Treasurer. and obviously pre-viewed by Councillor Wilson and the Mayor.
The town reduced the library budget last year. An allowance for an increase in the collection could not be made which meant the previous year's level of service could not be maintained. I argued we should not be setting up a new arts and culture program if we couldn't afford to maintain the one we had.
I voted against the town budget for that reason. There were others but that's where I chose to hang my hat.
There were reasons for the surplus. The librarian was new to the library. The year was almost half over by the time the budget was approved. Libraries are subject to publishers' schedules.. Orders are placed but there's no control of timing for deliveries.If books are not received before year end, payment is not made.
Ergo.on the books, a surplus.... in Council.... a churlish childish tit-for-tat and game of one-up-man-ship with library services as the pawn.