One item on Monday’s agenda that will be absent is the further discussion of the allotment of a $225,000 library bequest that the Library Board recently discovered. Sharon Levin, a “Committee to Save Schaberg” member, requested that the item be placed on the agenda so a two-way discourse concerning the allocation of funds could take place.
Agenda item approval requires the consent of the Mayor and Vice Mayor, but Mayor Jeff Ira emailed Levin stating that “a subsequent mid-year appropriation regarding a one-time gift was recommended by the Library Director and Library Board and the .” Levin and other members of the committee said they wanted the money to extend Schaberg’s hours rather than for programming they believed could be done by volunteers.
Ira said that Levin could address the council at any time during the public comment period. However, Levin said that she wanted to place the item on the agenda in order to solicit feedback.
“If it were truly a good decision, then we want the council to be able to say why,” Levin said.
But Ira explained that this was the Library Board’s decision and the council supported it.
“We’re not going to second guess and challenge their decision,” he said. “Some residents are saying ‘the money’s there, so let’s use it to keep Schaberg open longer,’ but we can’t just spend all of the money from the bequest.”
He added that Levin could address the council in June when the 2011-2012 budget was being discussed, concerning residual funds from the bequest or any other budgetary items. At that meeting the council could engage in dialogue.
In February, the library board decided to close Schaberg on Monday in order to .
Response from Mayor Jeff Ira:
In regards to your additional questions on a discussion with Council on the library budget, the Council made the budget reduction decisions for the current fiscal year in June of 2010. A subsequent mid-year appropriation regarding a one-time gift was recommended by the Library Director and Library Board and the Council supports that decision. The Council will not be placing it on an agenda for further discussion or deliberation. If you wish to speak to the Council on those decisions you may under public comment at any scheduled City Council meeting. In terms of any residual funds for the library or other budgetary decisions that may occur in the next fiscal year, you are welcome to come and speak to those at the budget hearings scheduled for June of 2011.
That should clarify your questions regarding my previous email.
Mayor, Redwood City