A letter to the City of San Diego

posted by Russ, November 6 in politics with tags , , , ,

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It just came out in local news here in San Diego that Mayor Jerry Sanders is proposing some serious budget cuts. Among some of the cuts are the following:

  • Four of seven deputy chief operating officers will lose their jobs
  • Operations suspended at nine recreation centers, seven libraries and all six of the city’s customer service centers
  • The number of civilians in the SDPD’s admin staff and community service officers will be reduced by 37
  • The number of fire companies active on any given day will decrease from 60 to 58

On the bright side, they claim that all cuts are in the office, and that the number of police officers and fire fighters won’t be affected.

I realize times are tough and you have to do what you have to do, but to me Rec Centers and libraries are what make communities … well, uh, communities. So I went ahead and wrote a letter to the mayor and my councilman. Here is what I wrote:

I am writing in regards to the recently proposed budget cuts. I understand the financial crisis and I understand doing what needs to be done. While difficult, I respect you doing what is best for the city. However, as a resident of San Diego for eight years, I have really enjoyed the community feel of the local libraries and feel that they are an important service for the people. I’ve always thought it was so great that every community has their own library. That said, I can understand the need to cut back, and also can certainly see that for the amount spent to maintain these services that they might not be deemed worthwhile. And of course I realize that there is a much broader impact here than just losing some libraries. I know that this extends far beyond the library closures, and that many other city services are affected. However, as a resident of Ocean Beach and a frequent library user, it saddens me to know that our local library may be closing.

I know that not many people in this day and age use the free services that the libraries offer, but the reality is that there are still many that do. When I saw that Ocean Beach was one of the branches proposed to be closed I was shocked. Each time I’ve gone in there it seems to be bouncing with activity and I find it hard to believe that this is one of the least used branches. I would imagine that especially in “OB” the services offered at the library would be absolutely essential. People, both young and old, and both high and low income, live in OB, and having access to free internet and reading materials is critical for many of these people, especially those without private transportation. (Which I know there are a lot of in my neighborhood.) I would urge you to reconsider these closures, as I believe local libraries (as well as Rec Centers) are an essential part of each of the unique communities of San Diego, as well as critical resources for many of our residents.

Originally posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2008 at 9:55 PM .

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