Friday, September 06, 2013

The MIAMI HEAT and NORMAN BRAMAN Should Save the Libraries. By Geniusofdespair

Because of a sweetheart deal with the Billionaire Micky Arison, the county pays $6.4 million a year of the American Airlines operating costs. REALLY. Why? Because Heat profits never hit the threshold of profit sharing.  Now, who in their right mind believes that one?  The County squanders our money on the one hand and is frugal to a fault on the other.

Big Tech Corporation AT&T is making contributions to 11 of our parks to make Tech Centers. How about them making donations, retrofitting our libraries with Tech components?  We aren't at the point where everyone has a computer, we need libraries and we need to reinvent them as well. People still read books.  Libraries are a good place for meetings.  Let's be creative and get that money from people like Norman Braman who care about our community.

Micky give back the $6.4 this year and next and libraries will be in the pink. Norman,  just help to be nice! AT&T are you listening? Tech Centers don't belong in Parks. Help the libraries instead.

Miami Today:
The county owns the arena but the Heat Group controls it. While the county by contract is to get a share of profits, it never has because profits never hit the payment threshold. The county pays $6.4 million of the arena's operating costs.


Anonymous said...

Great Idea! Anyone have Micky's phone number?

Anonymous said...

A letter to all of the commissioners:

When thinking about libraries, my hope is that you will reconsider your vote on the flat millage rate at the September 10th meeting. Allow public discourse, please. Find a way to rectify the dismal state of affairs that Mayor Gimenez left you. When the Mayor is asked to change his position, he points the finger to you the commissioners and figuratively wipes his hands of the mess he created.

The Mayor's plan creates a library system with 221 employees (there were 800 in 2009-10) which will fail to meet our community's needs. It stitches together a flea market of non-profits to take over the jobs of trained librarians. It leaves buildings so understaffed to be dangerous and barely functioning.

Please ask to compare the MDPLS incident reports against the number of staff. For example, W. Dade Regional, a large building with two floors, now with 17 staff, and in October with 12 staff to run a six-day operation. Of those 12, some will have staggered days off, so they will never all be 12 working in the building at the same time. Add sick leave, vacation, lunch hours, so you have about 5 covering the two floors. Now close the two nearby libraries, West Flagler and Fairlawn on Fridays and Saturdays. What will it be like inside of West Dade Regional? If you drive by the parking lot you’ll see how close it will reach to its maximum occupancy.

Miami Beach, same situation only (from 8/1/2013 - 9/4/2013) add 205 incidents, 59 evictions, 32 police interventions. That building's staff is reduced from 16 to 11.

South Shore, will no longer be open Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. Advertised hours per the Miami Herald will be M-Th from 10-2. The building will be opened by a part-time entry-level librarian and two pages. That building experienced 30 incidents, 5 evictions and 3 calls to the police.

Over a two year period:
At the Main Library there were 96 incidents, 33 evictions, with 39 police interventions.

North Shore had 50 incidents, with 8 requiring evictions and 5 requiring the police.

Shenandoah had 30 incidents, with 5 evictions, and 2 requiring the police.

Hispanic had 45 incidents, with 11 evictions and 11 requiring the police.

Short staffing any library location means a liability problem for the county. None of these incidents made the news.

Trained librarians or library assistant supervisors handled the problem. Ask to read through library's evictions documents. They are eye opening.

Anonymous said...

page 2

Main Library is being evicted from the top and bottom floors. This is to rectify being charged "rent" of $5.1 million/year. That's $25 per sq ft. The two neighboring museums were paying a token $11-14 sq ft with a Dept of Cultural Affairs grant returning that full amount.

Have you toured the Main Library lately? It's under orders to uproot the historical repository in the basement and shove it anywhere. Ask for the plan. See the auditorium. See what was once the Periodicals Dept. Ask to use a laptop. Ask where is the Cuban Collection, the old LPs, the Music Collection, etc. are located. Ask how they provide access to them.

The building was built with bond money in 1984 to be a fully functioning four-story library (staff kitchen on the top floor, loading dock, printing press, rolling shelving in the basement.) Forcing the uprooting of rare and important material that needs to be preserved in a climate-controlled area is a crime against our community's history.

Anonymous said...

page 3

Why are Broward County Libraries going to be so much better than ours?
Broward County Budget for Libraries – FY 2012:
FY 12 Budget: $58,935,960
Positions: 654
Branches: 40

Why are Hillsborough County libraries going to be so much better than ours?
Hillsborough County's 2013 materials budget is $5,034,834 for 30 locations (including bookmobile, cybermobile for Spanish speakers, and their talking books).

MDPLS’ 2013-14 materials budget will come in at approximately $500,000-$750,000 for 49 locations, databases, and downloadables. By any comparison, we will be anemic.

Materials budget includes books, magazines, newspapers, downloadable EBooks and audio books, homework databases, and many other shared community resources.

FY2002-03 - $5,511,000
FY2003-04 - $6,200,000
FY2004-05 - $6,823,000
FY2005-06 - $6,750,000
FY2006-07 - $7,000,000
FY2007-08 - $5,500,000
FY2008-09 - $5,500,000
FY2009-10 - $2,949,000
FY2010-11 - $2,375,000
FY2011-12 - $1,600,000
FY2012-13 - $2,200,000 ($1,600,000 + $600,000 State Aid)
FY2012-13, there were 49 locations and two book mobiles, $500,000 in database access.
For FY 2013-14, there are submitted scenarios of $500k, $750k, $1M and $$1.5M.

Anonymous said...

page 4

At a town hall meeting, the Mayor's stated that the aged have to choose between eating or paying for the library. Many low income seniors don't have to pay city or county property taxes:

So this argument isn't valid.

The Mayor knew two years ago that the library would need to have its millage reinstated, and he was jovial discussing cutting 13 libraries in 2011. Please view a 28 second clip from an interview with the Miami Herald editorial board. (Preview) (Preview)
Question - Why did he wait until the last minute? The county budget takes 12 months to review and analyze. The Budget Office and his senior staff has had to scramble to fix the mistake he made in July. They are creating a patchwork of non-profits to take over for the missing staff. Partnerships are when two entities have a mutual need. This is a band-aid fix to circumvent a hole.

Did the library ever have a chance with Mayor Gimenez in office?

See this 28-second youtube video when he was interviewed by the Miami Herald Editorial board. Two years ago he tried to close 13 branches. "

We knew we'd have do something about the library's millage two years ago." (Preview)

When we talked to residents, and had a conversation, they were willing to pay the $20 – it’s all in the marketing. This is how the school board bond issue passed muster in November. The majority is willing to pay for new renovations and constructions because the population was shown the value of the tax in advance.

Anonymous said...

page 5

As opposed to the reliance on robo-polling to take the “pulse” of the community:

Before the budget was sent out, the Mayor enlisted the help of AI to robopoll residents about their taxes and what they would be willing to pay given the status of their public services such as the library and the fire departments.

According to the survey, a majority stated that they would not be willing to pay more in taxes despite the affect on services.
Sadly, robopolling only targets those with landlines, thereby limiting the outreach of the poll, and does not guarantee that the individual answering the call is a registered voter, as it does not cross check it through a registered voters list. Instead, robopolling assembles random numeric numbers that could be within the target area.

Is that really a accurate representation of Miami Dade County?

Geniusofdespair said...

What does that have to do with the Miami Heat.? This isn't a time for logic. Logic never works at the county. Desperate times require desperate measures. Just curious can you write about one eviction? Don't understand.

Anonymous said...

page 6

Library's Millage Rates:
.4860 in 2005
.4860 in 2006
.3842 in 2007
.3822 in 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service
.3822 in 2009
.2840 in 2010
.17950 in 2011 Gimenez came into office: 300 employees laid off, hours cut.
.17250 in 2012
.17250 in 2013. Facing 169 layoffs and another 1/4 reduction in operating hours. Bookmobiles cease operations.

Did we ever have a chance, when the biggest cut came in 2011 with our Mayor in office?

The damage to library staffing levels through layoffs and demotions will be felt for years to come. We will never again be a renowned library system with the current funding.

People are equal to services, and the library is a people service, it’s been one of the friendliest faces of the county. Libraries that are closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are empty promises of county service.

Anonymous said...

page 7

At the Florida CityTown Hall Meeting , a library employee at the end of her rope, knowing that the last days of the library system are these last days of September, brought her three children and her story. This will be her second layoff with MDPLS in two years. The first round she lost her house, her car, and was forced to take shelter in a motel after everything was lost. She demanded to know why a heartless mayor undervalues libraries.

This 90 second video is the last portion of their dialog. The mayor came up with his own solution.

The library staff need the time to think of a TRUE sustainability plan that will preserve the library system and truly open the way for its evolution. Each of the Mayor’s four memos about the future of libraries is missing the word librarian. He has no respect for the position nor the institution.

WHAT we learned through out our Master’s programs and through our years in the library system, make us innovative, but if our youngest and freshest faces are dismissed, there will be no opportunity. The service withers.

We voted for a leader who would build this county up, not destroy its finest institution.

Please be a HERO to the library system and to the library users.

Geniusofdespair said...

You must be a librarian no commissioner is going to be swayed by a 9 page letter. Compact it to two paragraphs. That they understand. And leave out all those cumbersome numbers. Learn from me -- be brief and by all means don't be logical.

Anonymous said...

All of the so called "non profit" corporate sports leagues that have taken over our public parks should save our Libraries....

Anonymous said...

Yes --- The Heat should pay up -- Norman can also donate - If they have to name a reading room after them, let it be.

Anonymous said...

Folks, the checks need to be written like today. The County Commission meets Tuesday, Sept. 10. Unless Commissioners raise the millage rate enough to have enough money to run a library system for a major metropolitan area (and not some third-rate, third-world country backwater town, which is where they are headed), then this Commission and Mayor Gimenez will go down in history as the ones that destroyed an award-winning library system, decimating a department that served its community well - never got investigated by the FBI, whose directors never got charged with crimes.

Anonymous said...

Come on billionaires, pony up! Buy the naming right of a library.

Anonymous said...

The Miami Heat grossed perhaps $70 Mil last year? $80 Mil? Yet the Miami Heat have never paid a penny in rent to the taxpayers. The taxpayers own the land and the in fact the taxpayers pay the Heat $6.4 mil per year? Gimenez? Hello?

Anonymous said...

As we approach the budget, let's not forget that we have lots of hungry old people. According to the Miami Herald, there are many seniors who are going hungry and need food. I don't know what will happen with libraries or dogs, but we need to make sure these old people have food.

Anonymous said...

The old people should have worked for Miami-Dade County. Then they could have retired with Defined Benefit Pension Plans funded by the taxpayers. And if the are like most County retirees they would live in another County and then retire in another state.

Anonymous said...

In a time of scarcity, maybe we should limit county employees to living within the county. That way we could keep our money circulating a few times with different businesses contributing to the county's economy before it leaves our boundaries. If county employees live outside the county, we get no return on our money as it immediately goes into someone else's economy. Maybe these people need to seek jobs were they live and pay taxes. Many communities don't allow it, or they impose a tax on them to recoup money for the local economy. It is called circling the wagons for survival.

Anonymous said...

The Miami Heat need to start paying rent. They are deadbeats feeding at the public trough.