Save the Library Escondido
Due to the City's current financial DEFICIT, Escondido city officials MAY SHUTTER THE DOORS TO THE EAST VALLEY LIBRARY BRANCH. Residents in Escondido believe that the closure is NOT WARRANTED, as the City has money in the reserves. The City will CLOSE the East Valley Library - Unless we stop them. The East Valley Library serves an average of 500 people per day. While the City proposes cuts to citizen services and amenities, the City Council also has plans to give $18.9 million taxpayer dollars, as an "incentive", to a developer to build a hotel, downtown. THE CITY HAS ANOTHER CHOICE! The City Council can choose to forego the multi-million dollar subsidy and fund city departments and services – they can choose to SAVE THE LIBRARY! Citizens throughout Escondido believe that due to the economic hardships, the City should be exceptionally prudent with the funds available. Citizens do not believe that the Hotel should take priority over the Quality of Life for the residents. We believe that the City should shelve the Hotel project until the City's finances have stabilized and the economic crisis has passed. If the City closes this branch, they may never be able to reopen it. PLEASE sign the petition below. This petition will ensure our Escondido City Council knows that the Citizens of Escondido value the East Valley Library Branch and the Recreation Programs offered through the center. We ask that the City table the Hotel project and keep the amenities that serve the citizens and add to our Quality of Life. History: On November 19th, the city proposed significant budget cuts in order to offset the city's $6 million dollar deficit. Included in the proposed cuts is the closure of the East Valley Library, $400,000 in cuts to City Recreation Programs, eliminating the Economic Development Department, the elimination of 401k contributions and 5% pay cuts for City Hall employees. Additionally, the City will eliminate 6 police officer positions, continue a hiring freeze at the police department and at the fire department, delaying promoting some fire personnel (as previously planned) and the city will not purchase a fire engine for new fire station #6 (it will only have an ambulance). This is the second round of cuts the city will make to its budget. Earlier in the year, the City had a $9.8 million revenue shortfall. In order to reduce the shortfall (deficit), the city cut most department budgets (and non-profits) by 7.5 percent. Through those cuts, the City shaved almost $5 million from their budget. As the economy continued to deteriorate, Escondido's revenues plummeted even more and the City is now faced with a $6 million deficit (up from $1.6 million), through the end of the fiscal year 08/09. The City Council's BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE is scheduled to meet again DECEMBER 2nd - the meeting is open to the public. The full council is expected to discuss the proposed cuts JANUARY 7th, 2009, at which time the Escondido Chamber of Citizens will present the petition to the Council. We have an opportunity to influence the outcome of this situation - Together, we can realize a better future - Let our Voices be Heard. Together, We can SAVE OUR LIBRARY! As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has".