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Don't Cut Flat-Funded Stratford Library Budget, Residents Say

Residents speaking at a public hearing Tuesday asked Town Council members to back the mayor's proposed flat-funded budget for the Stratford Library.

Susan Pildner challenged Town Council members to name a town department that serves more people daily than the .

"The library serves an average of 850 people a day," Pildner said. "That's remarkable."

Speaking at a public hearing Tuesday at , Pildner urged the Town Council to approve for the Stratford Library.

Harkins has put forth a library budget for fiscal year 2013 that is three bucks less than the budget for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The total library allocation is $2,824,214, which comes to 1.48 percent of the mayor's entire proposed operating budget.

The library's operations are funded primarily from an appropriation from the town's general fund, notes the mayor in his proposal (see page 62 of budget attached as a PDF in photo gallery).

No increase, no problem, say residents, who had no qualms about a flat-funded bottom line.

"Please accept the library budget," said Elaine Roper, a mother of six whose children are actively engaged in library events and programs. "You name it and my children have probably participated in it."

Daniel Pato credited the Stratford Library with imbuing an enthusiasm for reading in his twin 5-year-old girls. He said since the girls were toddlers he has been taking them to their local library.

"We go there every week," Pato said. "Please support the mayor's budget."

The public hearing will continue today at 7 p.m. at .

Editor's note: Members of the Stratford Animal Rescue Society (STARS) also spoke at the public hearing Tuesday, asking for an increase in the Stratford Animal Control budget. Look for that story later this afternoon.

Tony De Matteo Jr. April 18, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Cuts to libraries during a recession are like cuts to hospitals during a plague. Eleanor Crumblehulme @Crumblehulme
George E. Mulligan April 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Threatening schools & library are political SOP. Add 2 Librarians with Masters Degrees in Library Sciences and have the staff rotate covering help desk and searching for GRANTS, DONATIONS, PATRONS, BIDDING BENEFITS. They can WRITE GRANTS. Town + BoE can WRITE GRANTS. Maybe GRANT WRITER hire is needed? Library keeps whatever they can bring in. Library gets 5% credit for whatever they bring to BOE + TOWN. I've made suggestion in the PAST. Mayor Miron hired a GRANT WRITER who bought in $ 6 + $ 4 million in 2 years and then went out on her own business. No one can find where GRANT MONEY is on the BUDGET. It also seems to be ADDED after BUDGETS are DONE. No one can find where Town Attorney Settlements & bunch of other stuff should be. Harkins looking to sneak 1/2 Mil increase by raising Sewer Fees by $ 95 a year, from $ 280. Last year I woke up town council protesting why it was that high since the Water Polution Plant Budget doesn't justify. WPCA has separate Budgets from Town & BoE Budgets. > Is it LEGAL to charge WPCA $ 600,000 Rent? > Is it LEGAL to transfer $ 1,000,000 from WPCA Budget to the General Fund and then use those as excuse to increase $ 95 annual sewer Fee? - Increase on 22,000 Homes / Business (higher fee) = 1/2 Mil Tax Increase. Reference Librarians can help interested public researchers check past Budgets for you to see how you are robbed by political parties. Use Libraries to have unformed decisions!
George E. Mulligan April 18, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Town of 50,000. 12 Budget Hearing speakers. If I remember correctly. 5-6 were animal shelter. 3-4 were or mentioned Library. 1 pro nature 1 Teacher for Education Budget 1 Spoke about Taxes, Pay, Pension I likely missed something. Jason/patch & John/star both took notes. I didn't see CT POST - May have been there?

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