Escambia County Pensacola Politics

County wants its libraries like downtown libraries, plans to cut fund transfer

October 9, 2012

NorthEscambia.com reports that County Administrator Randy Oliver plans to ask the county commissioners to withhold a portion of their funding for the library system in order to hire the city’s library employees to fully staff libraries in the county so that staffing at all library branches in the unincorporated areas will be at the same level as the branch in the city with the greatest operating hours.

In its 2012-13 budget, Escambia County cut its library contribution by 5-percent or $165,000 from the previous year. The city of Pensacola, which runs the county-wide library system, therefore, cut operational hours by one-third, reducing part-time employees by 30 percent, subscriptions by 15 percent and book purchases by 85 percent.

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  • Gene's world October 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Omg – turn to Channel 98 otherwise known as the Valentino Channel. This guy does not know when to stfu

  • jeeperman October 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Funding the libraries in 2012 is like funding municipal horse livery stables in 1912.

  • Choot him October 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    When will the city and county stop acting like Hatfields and McCoys?

  • Ames October 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Living in the City is a choice, Surely any City resident who has felt burdened by contributing twice to a community resource as valuable as a library system has long since relocated beyond City limits.

  • CJ Lewis October 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Problem:

    1. City residents are taxed twice to pay for the so-called “West Florida Regional” Library System that is all contained within Escambia County. (Secret Fact: All city residents are also county residents).

    2. Pensacola Mayor Hayward has downgraded the West Florida Regional Library System from a “department” as described in the Interlocal Agreement with Escambia County and also the City Code to a “division.” Why? Hayward asserts that as a matter of constitutional law, doing so allows him to skirt the City Charter’s constitutional requirement that he must submit the name of the library department head to City Council confirmation. The three smart City Council members (DeWeese, Pratt and Myers) object to the Mayor’s creative revision of the Charter. [The corporate media jeers at them for believing in the voter-approved Charter.] The six male City Council members (Wu, Spencer, Hall, Johnson, Jerralds and Townsend) are all content to follow orders from their Mayor basking in public praise for unthinking loyalty and obedience.

    3. Hayward is using the library system to dole out political favors to supporters by closing the Westside Branch and moving it to Legion Field even closer to the Main Library.

    Solution:

    1. The Escambia County Administrator should request the Santa Rosa County Administrator present a briefing to the Board of County Commissioners on the successful operation of the Santa Rosa County Library System, created after Santa Rosa County quit its participation in the West Florida Regional Library System in 2006.

    2. The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners should terminate the Interlocal Agreement that allows the City of Pensacola, i.e. Mayor Hayward, to mismanage the West Florida Regional Library System and then create a new Escambia County Library System.

    3. The City of Pensacola can: 1) try to go it alone running a three-branch library system inside city limits or 2) trust the Board of County Commissioners to run a countywide library system to include multiple branches inside city limits. If the City opts for the second course of action, the General Fund dollars saved could be better spent investing in public safety inside city limits, i.e. actually “Making Public Safety Job Number One” vice just giving the phrase lip service.