If proposed cuts to the Dallas Public Library’s operations budget become reality, City Manager Mary Suhm and members of the City Council could render the city's libraries the municipal services equivalent of Cliffs Notes rather than a full novel.
The proposed cuts would reduce the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library downtown, and all branch locations, by 20 hours a week while slashing the budget by another $9 million during the next fiscal year, according to the Dallas Morning News. The move has been proposed in the face of another budgetary shortfall of $131.1 million.
Blame lower property valuations and the associated lessened property taxes and a drop in collected sales tax revenue for the hole in the city budget, but, heavens, don’t blame city officials for shortsightedly failing to recognize the pending kick to the budgetary crotch.
Seems like they might have learned a lesson last fiscal year when the city’s operational budget came up $190 million short and a day late before they whittled it down to about $29 million.
Anyway, given the likely cuts to the library system, the burden again falls to the few citizens who care enough to help a municipal brutha out -- the Friends of the Dallas Public Library and similar neighborhood groups that benefit their local branches.
But that’s always the case, right? One way or the other, we’re going to pay, and one way or the other, we’re going to suffer the consequences.
Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. The last book he read was … uh … hmmm, does rereading a collection of “The Far Side” cartoons count?