Letters to the Editor

Politics Drive Library Budget Cuts


At the May 21st public Town Council meeting, the Council will vote on the 2013 budget, including cuts of about $100,000, or more than 7%, to the Library while the Town’s budget as a whole will increase by more than $400,000 (a little more than 2%).  Though I’m a Republican, for me this issue isn’t political.  Though several reasons for the cuts have been suggested, it seems to me that for Council members Glover, Gialanella and Beckerman political considerations are the real reason. 

At April’s public Council business meeting, a standing room only crowd expressed support for the Library.  Not one person spoke in favor Mr. Glover’s plan to slash the Library’s budget.  Just this Saturday (the 11th), the Library held a festival celebrating Latin authors, music and culture.  More than a thousand people took time out on a Saturday, came downtown and attended the Festival.  The decision to ignore the public outcry and the huge public usage and support of the Library by Scotch Plains residents is stunning. 

We’ve heard from Mayor Glover that the primary reason the Library’s budget will be cut is that in prior years other departments were cut and the Library was spared, so now it is the Library’s turn to suffer.  That’s no way to set budget priorities for a $24 million budget for a town of +23,000 residents!  It seems almost as if Council members Glover, Gialanella and Beckerman have an axe to grind against the Library; this rationale is so bad that hopefully this isn’t their true motivation.  

Sign Up for E-News

At the last Council meeting, before voting with Mr. Glover and Mr. Beckerman to cut the Library’s budget, Council member Gialanella said that she did not understand all the numbers floating around about the Library.  She suggested that because the issue was so complicated the Council needed to sit down with the Library Trustees to go over the numbers.   But the Town budget on sheet 34 of the public document is, and has been since the Council got the budget in early February, quite clear about the +$100,000 being slashed from the Library.  Mr. Glover suggested last month that $67,000 was “found” as left over from 2012.  As has been explained and documented by the Library staff, most of that money has already been spent for 2012 bills.  Mr. Glover has also suggested that there may be other ways to give the Library more money while at the same time cutting its budget.   But he’s done nothing to explain what he’s suggesting.  No matter what smoke screens are used to complicate things, the cuts are in the budget and nothing has been done officially to change that.  I hope the Council members really aren’t so financially naive that they do not understand that the cuts are real, that much of what’s been said serves only to confuse the issue or what ‘double counting’ means. 

Politics is what’s driving the Democrats.  Mr. Glover has publicly boasted that this year’s tax increase will be the lowest in ten years.  Keeping tax increases small is good, but it isn’t the whole story.  The Town’s budget is actually going up.  This is because of salary increases for many of the Town’s 168 employees, most of whom are members of public employee unions, and because of big increases in the costs incurred by the hiring of the Town’s new set of lawyers, engineers and other professionals, virtually all of whom are contributors to local, Assembly and County Democrat campaigns.  In order to be able to boast about a small tax increase and at the same time increase salaries and payments to campaign contributors, the Town budget has to be cut somewhere.  Politically, cutting the Library is an easy place to cut.  They are sticking to this, even though the public doesn’t want the Library budget to be cut, because to do otherwise would go against their political goals.  Politics as practiced by Mr. Glover, Ms. Gialanella and Mr. Beckerman (and presumably their Democrat party leader, Ms. Stender) will give the Democrats a catchy campaign slogan and favor their political friends at the expense of the public interest.  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 10, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

After Bruce Patterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County Freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting Freeholder, I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered.

At the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

Scotch Plains Public Library to Host Star Wars Craft for Teens

April 24, 2018

May the Fourth be with you!  Teens in grades 5-12 are invited to the library on Friday, May 4 at 3:30 pm for a Star Wars-themed craft.

For more information or to register, visit www.scotlib.org, email library@scotlib.org, call (908) 322-5007 x 204 or stop by the Reference Desk.

The Scotch Plains Library is located at 1927 Bartle Ave., one block from Park Ave. in the center of ...