Mayor Shaun McLaughlin explains the library budget

Almonte Public Library

by Mayor Shaun McLaughlin

Many of you are going to see a petition about MM library cuts or Facebook posts about it. The petition and Facebook do not give any details, just scary words. The EMC online has a screaming headline about “slashing” the library budget. In absence of details elsewhere, here they are:

The library is getting more money than last year, but not as much as it asked for. The library asked for a 10% increase at a time when Council asked all departments for fiscal restraint until we get past the 7% annual tax increases due to end in 2018. Council trimmed the library budget request by $14,000 out of a half-million-dollar budget. That is not “slashing.” The cut does not reduce services–it just doesn’t allow expansion of programs or services.

We granted all library requests for capital spending increases but cut the requested operating cost increase in half. No other MM department expanded programs and services this year. Council is granting capital expenditures that meet the long range financial plan, but we are trying to hold operating cost increases to the inflation rate or as close as we can.

Your library is not in peril.