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Friday, August 12, 2022
Home Government Library Won't Keep Quiet: Don't Throw the Budget Book at Us

Library Won’t Keep Quiet: Don’t Throw the Budget Book at Us

Rye Free Reading Room Director Kurt Hadeler wants to scream. He had Karen Bresolin, President of the Board of Trustees, post the following letter on the library web site, throwing the book at the Rye City council for a proposed budget that cuts $240,000 from the library.

Since most library fines cap out at $5, the library will have to fine all of us 48,000 times to make up for the shortfall… What do you think about a library budget cut? Leave a comment below.

The letter follows:

Friends,

There is deeply troubling news in the City’s proposed 2009 budget that I wanted to share with you immediately: the Rye Free Reading Room is facing a $240,000 cut in City funding next year.

We recognize these are difficult economic times for everyone, and we applaud the City for being fiscally responsible while keeping tax increases low.  The library is willing to accept its fair share of the hardship.  However, we feel that the City’s budget cuts unfairly targets the library.  $240,000 – a full 24% – of the $990,000 savings proposed by the City is shouldered by the library alone.  This is clearly disproportionate when you consider that the library represents only 4% of the City’s operating budget.

The City’s proposal cuts 20% of library funding, from a requested $1,240,000 down to $1,000,000 – the lowest since 2004.  Preliminary analysis indicates that the impact of these cuts, if the budget is approved, would be devastating.  The library would potentially need to:

  • Cut hours by up to 40%, down to as few as 40 hours/week – the New York State minimum standards for a community our size.  This is equivalent to closing 2.5 eight hour days each week.
  • Cut new book purchases by up to 50% and new audiobook, CD and DVD purchases by as much as one-third. 
  • Eliminate many – if not all – library- and Auxiliary-Board sponsored programs, including important pre-school programs like Mother Goose, Tales for Tots and Pajama Story Time.  Educational programs such as Teacher in the Library and Online Homework Help could also be in jeopardy. 

We need your help!  Please contact the Rye Mayor and City Council by Wednesday, November 19 and voice your support for the library – urge them to restore library funding for 2009.  Pass the word along to your friends, family and neighbors who value the library and its role in the community.  We know you are busy and have prepared an letter that you may download and bring to the library or mail to City Hall.

Sincerely,
Karen Bresolin
President of the Board of Trustees
Rye Free Reading Room

13 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe someone should look into the legal fees and expenses that the City of Rye spends.

    For 2008 the Rye City Council budgeted $569,000 for legal fees and expenses. That money ran out in May 2008. Since that time the Rye City Council has approved an additional $460,000 in legal fees and expenses. So far in 2008 that adds up to $1,029,000. Yet in looking at the 2009 Rye budget, the forecast for 2008 Legal fees and expenses in $541,000. They are actually forecasting less fees and expenses in 2008 even though they are already $460,000 over budget in 2008.

    If the City and Rye and the Rye City Council can play three card monte with $461,000 in legal fees and expenses, certainly there are many other discrepancies within the 2009 budget.

    How much will Shew’s salary increase in 2009 and why is that not in the public budget talks. He got a $17,000 raise last year a couple days before Christmas when the City Council met at 7:30 a.m.

  2. I think the idea of taking the bulk of the budget cuts out of the public library is an embarrassment for Rye. There’s plenty of pork in this budget, I don’t think cutting out programs that interest children in reading is the way to go.

  3. whether children of Rye ( among the most pampered in America ) have enough books to read will be a quaint memory in a few years .

    http://www.infowars.com/?p=5938

    the handwriting is on the wall for those willing to look . the lunacy of taxes in Westchester / New York State and its sustainability as global financials markets implode around you is insane .

    we’ll be struggling to keep the cops and firemen paid by 2010 .

    take it to the bank

  4. The library is getting substantial support from the City, unlike some of our other institutions. The others charge their users fees (the golf club) or fund raise (the arts center) so that they can exist. Perhaps the library needs to pare down its services (less hours), examine its cost structure, e.g. wages and benefits which are probably going up, while many people in Rye are not getting raises, consider some membership fees. this year is unlike others.

  5. Why would anyone be surprized with over the top legal fee increases with this entrenched elected administration? Mamaroneck taxpayers know all about our city attorney and remember him every time they pay their litigation inflated tax bills. We deserve what we vote for – bigger legal fights and bigger legal expenses. This is the future under The Gang of Steve.

  6. What kills me Ted C is when Plunkett, acting as the Rye Corporation Counsel, gives legal advice to the Rye City Council. The legal advice sometimes includes whether or not the City of Rye should sue or defend a lawsuit. If Plunkett’s advice is to seek a legal remedy, more often than not they then hire Plunkett and his firm, DelBello, Donnellan, Weingarten, Wise and Wiederkehr, LLP to represent them. They then pay Plunkett and his law firm lots and lots of taxpayer money on top of his Corporation Counsel pay.

    I don’t know about you but this sounds like double dipping to me. On top of that the City of Rye budgeted $550,000 in legal expenses for 2008. That ran out in May. The Rye City Council has put another $550,000 into Plunkett’s law department since May basically with no oversight. In looking at the 2009 Rye budget, they project spending less than $550,000 in 2008 on legal expenses. Are these people out of their minds? Where is this money going and why are they hiding our taxpayer money?

  7. What kills me Ted C is when Plunkett, acting as the Rye Corporation Counsel, gives legal advice to the Rye City Council. The legal advice sometimes includes whether or not the City of Rye should sue or defend a lawsuit. If Plunkett’s advice is to seek a legal remedy, more often than not they then hire Plunkett and his firm, DelBello, Donnellan, Weingarten, Wise and Wiederkehr, LLP to represent them. They then pay Plunkett and his law firm lots and lots of taxpayer money on top of his Corporation Counsel pay.

    I don’t know about you but this sounds like double dipping to me. On top of that the City of Rye budgeted $550,000 in legal expenses for 2008. That ran out in May. The Rye City Council has put another $550,000 into Plunkett’s law department since May basically with no oversight. In looking at the 2009 Rye budget, they project spending less than $550,000 in 2008 on legal expenses. Are these people out of their minds? Where is this money going and why are they hiding our taxpayer money?

  8. I think the reason the legal bills are so high has something to do with frivolous lawsuits. The city doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring them, and the individual(s) who bring them are looking for a jackpot (though the cases keep getting tossed). Eventually the litigant will look for “hush” money.

  9. Are you talking about the Rye Golf Club lawsuit? That was dismissed, but one of the reasons it was dismissed was the Rye City Clerk was less than truthful about certain records not existing when in fact they did exist. In fact she even created some of the records that she said didn’t exist. She also swore out a sworn affidavit under the penalty of perjury that no records existed and it was submitted to the County Court in the respondent filing to dismiss the lawsuit.

    If the City Clerk had been honest from the beginning and provided the records, there would not have been a lawsuit.

    As a reference only here is a section of the NY State Public Officers Law:

    8. Any person who, with intent to prevent public inspection of a record pursuant to this article, willfully conceals or destroys any such record shall be guilty of a violation.

    As a reference only here is a section of the NYS Penal Law:

    § 210.35 Making an apparently sworn false statement in the
    second
    degree.
    A person is guilty of making an apparently sworn false
    statement in
    the second degree when (a) he subscribes a written instrument
    knowing
    that it contains a statement which is in fact false and which
    he does
    not believe to be true, and (b) he intends or believes
    that such
    instrument will be uttered or delivered with a jurat affixed
    thereto,
    and (c) such instrument is uttered or delivered with a jurat
    affixed
    thereto.
    Making an apparently sworn false statement in the second
    degree is a
    class A misdemeanor.

    § 210.40 Making an apparently sworn false statement in the first
    degree.
    A person is guilty of making an apparently sworn false
    statement in
    the first degree when he commits the crime of making an
    apparently sworn
    false statement in the second degree, and when (a) the
    written
    instrument involved is one for which an oath is required by law,
    and (b)
    the false statement contained therein is made with intent to
    mislead a
    public servant in the performance of his official functions,
    and (c)
    such false statement is material to the action, proceeding or
    matter
    involved.
    Making an apparently sworn false statement in the first
    degree is a
    class E felony.

  10. No, I was talking about a large number of lawsuits (more than 20) by someone who was claiming his civil rights were violated for things like the workshoes he was given – that kind of stuff. Totally baseless, but the city had to respond to each of them. Wonder how he paid for it…

  11. 20 lawsuits? That’s a lot. You sound like you are really in the know. You must be an insider.

    I would love to see the work shoe lawsuit. That must be a real doozy. Do you know if the extra $500,000 or so in lawyer fees paid to Plunkett and others so far in 2008 went towards defending discriminating work shoes?

  12. Plunkett obtained all his city, town, and village contracts riding on his brother’s coattails when his brother was in Albany with Pataki. During that time he was appointed to the Thruway Authority committee responsible for awarding thousands of dollars in contracts and was appointed to the committee responsible for the promotions of judges to the applet division. His brother and Pataki are no longer in Albany. His political influence is running out. All the cities towns and villages that signed up during the Pataki days are getting hip to his inflated and self-created legal billing. Rye is one of the last few cities still getting milked. “Yes we should” remove them both, Otis and the self-proclaimed great Mr. Plunkett.

  13. Plunkett is now a partner for Al Delbellos law firm DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr. I believe Delbello and Otis are very good friends.

    I still can’t believe that it is legal or ethical to get paid to provide an entity legal advice and then be the same lawyer getting paid additional money to sue or defend the very same entity that you gave the legal advice to. Is this a conflict of interest or at the very least the appearance of a conflict?

    Have you seen this video of an irate Plunkett screaming at an elderly Rye resident at a Rye City Council meeting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JXoSway7uo

    http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2008/03/27/petition-against-spitzer-thruway-nominee/

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