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Budget Public Hearing Was All About The Library

Folks pledged their love of the Henry Carter Hull Library and asked the Board of Finance to restore and even increase its funding.

 

It was all about the at the April 4 Public Hearing on the proposed '12-'13 town and school budgets.

About 20 people in total rose to speak at the hearing, and 18 of them asked the Board of Finance to either restore or increase the funding to the library.

Brandy Dole said the "stellar" library was the reason she moved to Clinton.

Born and raised in Mexico, Rosi Smallshaw said the library was instrumental in her knowledge of all things American. She felt such a closeness to its staff.

"The librarians were the ones who took my picture when I became a U.S. citizen," she said.

The library helped him obtain his degree, said John Main.

"It is the jewel in the crown of Clinton," said Patsy Kumekawa.

Mary Kelly Bush said "the library is not just for families - it is for the entire community. For everyone all the time, all year. It is critical in good times and bad."

Even a gentleman from Killingworth spoke in favor of the Clinton library.

And on and on it went.

The total proposed town budget is $15 million which represents a 5.10% increase or $728,529 over current spending. The total proposed school budget is $31.3 million which represents a 0.55% increase or $171,984 over current spending. For both figures, the total represents the operating budget, debt retirement and capital improvement budgets.

Folks were obviously not happy with the cut which resulted in limited hours and no weekend openings all summer.

"The reduced hours are a significant hardship on young families with two working parents," said Barbara Resnick.

Mimi Hanson Logan said the library is an important resource for those without computers, which, she said, in Clinton is many.

"You go to the library and every computer is in use," she said.

Kirk Carr, who spoke on behalf of the Clinton Taxpayers Association, said they all agree that the library was "unnecessarily hurt" more than other town departments and services when reductions to the budget were actualized.

The two people who did not speak about the library included Beth Critchley who asked that the Board of Finance keep the $500 tree budget and Bruce Farmer who asked a question about downward trends in the budget.

Board of Finance Chairman Bradford Sullivan said the board will take into consideration everything said at the public hearing when they finalize the budget prior to the . The Finance Board holds its next regular meeting on Monday, April 9, 7pm at town hall.

Phil Sengle April 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM
As long as the Library provides regular financial reporting to the town and they open up their Board of Directors to a few appointments by the BOS. This only seems fair given the amount of money the town provides. These proposals have been made to the Charter Revision Commission.
Ellen F April 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM
The library is one of the biggest draws for Clinton. I'd take the library over the school as an educational asset any time, and for ALL ages.
Bruce Farmer April 10, 2012 at 01:21 PM
We need to find a way to OPEN the library on Sundays and to do that - maybe we need to rework the rest of the weekly schedule.

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