Friday, March 28, 2014

A New Coalition is Formed - Because an Intelligent Community is Priceless. By Geniusofdespair

There are too many stupid kids out there and the schools are teaching to tests.
After being with an incoherent, almost speechless 13 year old on Wednesday, my respect for Libraries has increased dramatically. A child that doesn't know the meaning of the word skyscraper is pretty sad.  I am a big supporter of this program - From their press release:


A group of like-minded individuals and community organizations are proud to announce the creation of the Coalition to Save Our Libraries, dedicated to the protection, preservation, and enhancement of a priceless community resource, the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS).

Coalition members include volunteer and charitable organizations, city governments, and
committed individuals from around the county:

- Time 2 Rally - The Knight Foundation
- The Children’s Trust - Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library
- City of Pinecrest - League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County
- Library Advisory Board - Community Advocates for Libraries in Miami
- Sustainable Miami (C.A.L.M.)

Despite being less than 1% of the County’s total $4 billion budget, the Miami-Dade Public Library System has been a target of detrimental budget cuts of 25% over the last four years. These cuts generated significant reductions in programs, services, and materials for the community, damaging a one-time award-winning system. In 2013-2014, when the opportunity arose to restore the millage rate supporting the libraries, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez refused to do so and the current budget crisis was further exacerbated.

On Wednesday, March 19, at his request, Mayor Gimenez was presented with two funding scenarios for MDPLS’ 2014-2015 fiscal year: a $30 million budget and a $50 million budget.

It is the firm belief of this Coalition that both plans are inadequate as they call for radically reduced hours, staff, and services, akin to partial closures of library branches. Furthermore, based on the two plans provided, Mayor Gimenez did not follow through with his own Blue Ribbon Task Force’s recommendation to “increase the millage to maintain and enhance library services.” The work of the Task Force has been negated by the Mayor’s actions.

MDPLS needs a minimum budget of $64 million to provide this community the library system it deserves. This includes 8-hour days and at least 5 days of service across all branches, a collection that is current and expansive for all ages, and buildings that are well-staffed with professional librarians offering robust programs and services. Setting the Millage Rate to support $64 million avoids unreasonable, unnecessary, and unwelcome cuts to all 49 branches.

In the coming weeks, this growing advocacy team will launch a major public education and promotion campaign. County residents will learn about the significant benefits of library services offered to everyone. An intelligent community is priceless; the true cost of losing our libraries is too much for our children and our county to pay.l

Why don't you look at the budget for some money? Sell the land to Beckhams, collect the money the Miami Heat is hiding, fire a few of Gimenez's top aides.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see Cindy has found a real cause, maybe she can stop trying to cram her crappy, overpriced dog run into scenic and serene Veterans Wayside Park.

It's ironic Pinecrest is on board as it is the Pinecrests model which Carlos and the BCC are really fighting. They MUST keep their millage below those of the newly incorporated areas.

Other than the obvious reason to hold down taxes in an election year, there is list of areas waiting to incorporate. As we remember from Pinecrest's incorporation the county always predicted independence would result in higher taxes, more bureaucracy and less service but clearly their prediction proved wrong. Smaller can be better, their economy of scale argument is a myth. . Now the incorporation moratorium has been lifted dozens are back waiting their turn to jump ship and take their UMSA money with them.
to stem the tide the county has to step up its game, get smaller leaner and more efficient. Right! Never gonna happen. Which only leaves raising taxes.
and the only way to get people to pay more taxes is hold a gun to their head by threatening to cut popular services, close some parks and libraries, kill some puppies or layoff front line workers because let's face it nobody is going to vote to raise taxes so the seaport can hire a few more directors.

So....Look for no reform but more high profile cuts as the straw vote gets nearer. As the mayor told a dept director who made his budget target with no layoffs.. "No, go back, I want to see bodies"

Daniel Berger said...

Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s blue-ribbon panel was, sadly, a political scheme dressed up as his concern for libraries. Over $100,000 in tax revenue was spent by the county hiring consultant pollsters and taking surveys. The panel’s recommendation to increase the budget and enhance library services was then ignored. Instead, two scenarios were unveiled at the panel’s final meeting and both reduced services. This self-created fiscal crisis has bankrupted our library system. Yet, three years ago, Miami-Dade Public Library System was flush with $60 million in cash reserves. This was money set aside to renovate worn out facilities across the county.

Today, left with a trimmed budget, the libraries limp along with too few staffers, too few books, outdated laptops and leaking roofs. Our mayor’s answer: Even less staff, with fewer hours.

Daniel Berger, Coral Gables

Read more here:

Anonymous said...

Carlos Gimenez is sure looking dumb or worse. He made campaign promises to clean up County government and then he kept on the old George Burgess hires. He never reduced the number of full time County employees like he promised. Yet he has spent 2-3 years bad mouthing libraries and librarians. He seems to have forgotten the taxpayer owe $3 Bil for the Marlins scam. WTF?

Anonymous said...

Mayor Gimenez gave "marching orders" for two scenarios that both underfund MDPLS and result in layoffs (coyly called consolidations.) Why didn't he order a third option recommended by his own Blue a Ribbon Panel's (along with the Library Advisory Board) to raised millage and enhance services?
1 min 46 sec

Anonymous said...

When my children entered Kindergarten I took them to the library and taught them how to use the card catalog. They learned how to do research to write their own paragraphs and essays then. If they didn't know how to write yet they dictated to me or their older siblings. One kinder kid won the Halloween Essay contest over the entire elementary school that way. Libraries are important. Investing in the young pays back in the future.

KC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Geniusofdespair said...

You wrote the exact same thing once before, be creative. libraries aren't for books only --- go to one now and you'll see this a lot going on. As I said when you wrote your buggy whip comment before, libraries are meeting places and there places where children can find quiet and safety as they learn.

Anonymous said...

I hope no one in the community is fooled by the Gimenez administration manipulative stunt - creating the Blue Ribbon Task Force to make it appear like he really wanted to get feedback on how to fund and "recreate" the award-winning library system. Then, ignoring the taskforce's recommendation to restore the tax millage. It was Gimenez who "defunded" the library , thereby creating the so-called funding crisis we face today.
Come on Gimenez - just do the right thing and fully support funding the library system, with the proper millage rate that was set just a few years ago.
Start committing to funding public services that taxpayers expect and deserve and need and use. Stop funding all the unnecessary and unrequested projects - like the soccer stadium, football stadium and subsidies to the basketball stadium and baseball stadium. If we had unlimited funds, we still shouldn't use taxpayer money for these ventures. But since we can barely pay to maintain our water and sewer systems, roads, bridges, libraries, transit system and other critical infrastructure, why are we funding these boondoggles?

Anonymous said...

Gimenez is in way over his head. He kept everyone because the simple truth is that he is all talk and not a good administrator and needed the people to actually run the government he trashes all the time. Not very smart and was lucky to be at the right place at the right time. He is not a good leader. He doesn't solve anything. Doesn't show up to work. He is very good at bullying but we all know what ultimately happens to bullies...

Anonymous said...

The Library fiasco is but a smokescreen created by mayor Gimenez. 4 BILLION dollars of OUR hard-earned taxes paid are being frivolously wasted on 99% of county government, yet he decides to focus on a mere, miniscule 1/2%, which is the library's share.
Like a thief, he came into office and slashed the award-winning library's budget in half, KNOWING that it cannot survive on such a meager amount. GIMENEZ,IT IS HIGH TIME TO PUT BACK WHAT YOU STOLE! You know you did wrong. EVEYONE knows you did wrong. So do the right thing and correct the wrong. Put the millage at .49 where it belongs, and balance your budget by making tiny cuts to the other 99% of the county's budget. It's really not that hard to do (but only if you WANT to.)

Anonymous said...

Only a mayor fool (or arrogant and/or vindictive person) would think of removing a penny from a public library, for it is the absolute BEST resource a community has.

Anonymous said...

Gimenez listens to no one. Not the public. Not his advisors. Not his commissioners. NOT EVEN HIS OWN "BLUE RIBBON TASK FORCE".
Time for EX-mayor Gimenez!