City Shows Confidence In New Library System
After nearly two and a half hours of discussion, the City Council inevitably approved a $1.3 million loan from the City’s General Fund toward an ample opening day library collection and service enhancements.
But not without opposition.
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Reminiscent of the marathon speaker unrest on August 24 when the Council chose to withdraw from the County Library system, 31 residents took the podium to scrutinize the agenda item on Tuesday night.
“I am just opposed to these new numbers coming out when we were told this would be a saver for us,” said Kathy Carbone, a librarian at California Institute of the Arts.
While delivering her comments, Lynne Plambeck, president of Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, hoisted a petition she said contained 10,004 signatures, all of whom opposed the library takeover.
One speaker spoke in favor of the City's actions; one comment card indicated approval as well.
Even so, the majority of the City Council members stuck by the City's recommendations.
“We’re the only government you have that’s in the black. We know we can do it right," said Councilman Frank Ferry. “We’ve decided we can do a better job as a city than the County has done. I can guarantee you that when the libraries open up you’ll have five council members watching like a hawk."
Only Councilman Bob Kellar, who voted against the takeover in August, had raw feelings on the matter.
“I know one thing. We haven’t done a very good job with the community," he said. "A lot of the things we talked about on August 24 are just as big a deal now as they were then. What is vividly clear is that this city has not embraced this change."
According to the City staff report, the loan will fund increases to the existing local collection, tenant improvements, furniture upgrades and technology equipment.
“There really is no new financial information of any consequence, with one exception: the contribution to the build-out of the Canyon Country Library,” said Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez.