It is difficult to understand why any council member would suggest cutting significant funding for the Pelican Rapids Library. No reasons have been given.
As far as I understand, there were no charges of poor management, malfeasance, wasteful spending, or rude behavior towards library patrons. Had there been such charges, surely, there would and should have been an investigation. Reasonable people, elected to a position of trust, do not summarily make significant recommendations without proper reasons for doing so.
It seems as if one or two members decided to recommend the cut perhaps, because they are not familiar with how the library uses the funding. I also understand that Mr. (Pelican Councilman Steve) Foster thinks that the staff is paid too much. The city’s distribution to the library is used for operating expenses, which, of course, include utilities, upkeep, purchases of books, other library items and supplies, and salaries. I recommend that they look in their portfolios which contain regular reports from the library board and compare apples to apples. They will learn something which, for some reason, might be news to them.
(Councilman) Mr. Ballard’s suggestion to cut funds was in response to the library board asking for a grand total of $4,000 increase to last year’s funding. Instead, his suggestion was to return to an antiquated (1970) state statute that has a cap of $117,822 for Pelican Rapids Library. If this suggestion made by Kevin Ballard is adopted, it would mean a $66,402 decrease in the city’s funding to the library!
This is simply incredible.
I do not understand that kind of irresponsible decision making, and, beseech the other members of the council to take a public stand, call out those who have brought this suggestion to the floor and vote down any such ridiculous action.
Pelican Rapids residents have a gem in our local library. It is a wonderful part of what makes our town special. It faithfully serves patrons of all ages, sex, abilities and ethnicity. I encourage all residents to speak of their concerns to the council members.
From personal experience, there is never a time when I stop at the library, that I haven’t already stopped at Larry’s, the bank, the post office, the drug store, my church, gas station/car wash, Rehab Plus, and the Muddy Moose. I fully believe my actions are very similar to other library patrons. I would say the Library is also a “fund raiser” for the city’s businesses.
It is up to us to remind the council members why the library is so important to us as residents of Pelican Rapids and the surrounding area. We should expect more intelligent and reasonable governing from our elected officials.