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Dougherty Library Board deserves apology

The Dougherty County commissioners should promptly apologize to the Library Board chairman and their board members. Once again we have seen the arrogance and poor leadership from several of our elected county commissioners. At a time when we need strong leadership to make tough budget decisions, the Library Board did just that, made good management decisions. When funds are not available, cuts must be made.

Budget cuts are never popular, but that is what is required from responsible leaders.

When challenged by reductions in their funding from the state, the Library Board was forced to make tough decisions, and the Library Board did just that. However, instead of being praised for their leadership, they were chastised and inappropriately drilled about their decision to close two low-utilization libraries out of the five libraries located within a seven-mile radius of each other.

The county commissioners cannot even manage their own financial budget issues, as proven by the recent 2-mil increase in property taxes for the unincorporated district. They have depleted their reserves over the past six years. There have not been any significant budget reduction recommendations from the Finance Committee during this same time period.

Now the county commissioners want to second-guess another board’s actions for making tough budget decisions. This should be considered an unwarranted insult to the Library Board.

The county has not addressed the real problem of communications from other sources. Instead, they took an insulting approach of appointing a county commissioner to the Library Board. Appointing a County Finance Committee rep who has not made any significant recommendations for reducing the County’s budget to now be on the Library Board has only served to insult the true leaders and bring further turmoil to an area that needs to be findng solutions for budget expense reductions.

CHARLES WESTBROOK

Albany

Comments

Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

I am confused! Arrogance and poor leadership and lack of good management decisions. Are you describing County commissioners or City commissioners or maybe you just nailed two TUR_S of a feather drinking from the same Kool-Aid trough.

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waltspecht 1 year, 9 months ago

I for one believe the path to ruination has been found. It is easy to cave in to Church Leaders for depriving some folks of their free computer access. It is hard to effectively manage money. I don't know of anywhere computer access is guaranteed to the masses, at least not in writing. I do know that when funds are cut, cuts have to be made to match the funding. So if you are going to fund these closed libraries, what other costs are you going to cut? How about we reduce the street lighting in the areas served by these libraries, reduce the Police presence and only respond to every third fire within the confines of that community. I think you will quickly hear what is really important to that community if this is done. It won't be, and a very large building will exist to house a dozen computers.

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free_ur_mind 1 year, 9 months ago

While I agree the decision was probably the right move, the problem was the lack of communication and engagement with public officials. That is where the Dougherty County Library Board fell. There are other low cost options that could have been considered, such as bookmobiles.

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B4it 1 year, 9 months ago

Free_ur_mind, I appreciate your optimism about having bookmobiles. However, you probably do not realize the negative response to closing those 2 libraries was never about the books. It was about free computer and Internet access. I maintain a thought that if those 2 libraries were so critical, then have those who rallied in favor of keeping the libraries opened provide the funds. Try telling those complaining so called pastors to put computers in their churches and provide the resources for all of those disadvantaged students in those communities. You will quickly see how really critical these libraries are to those doing the complaining if they had to use their money!!!!

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free_ur_mind 1 year, 9 months ago

Let's not minimize the problem of the digital divide and how it impacts society today. Internet access is critical to continuing your education and applying for jobs. Do you think one can get a job by responding to a newspaper ad??? Are you aware of the trend of online education or are you living in a cave?

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B4it 1 year, 9 months ago

Be careful free_ur. You are starting to raise your blood pressure and I would not want you to have a coronary. You actually just proved my point by emphasizing the WANT of Internet services rather than books. However, you have failed to provide any reasonable solution for funding this service. I never said the Internet serivce was not needed. Do you realize there are no Library services in the corner parts of the county? Should libraries be built every 2 miles so that everybody can have free and convenient Internet services? Again, if this is your objective, then pony up the funds to make it happen, and quit expecting others to do it for you.

The issue becomes just how much money should be spent to provide residents with Internet services and books? There is not an open check book which seems to be the attitude of some local people. Just as in your own personal finances, you must make decisions on how much you will spend on various services. If cable TV started charging you $300 per month. would you keep this service, search for alternatives, or cut back somewhere else? The point is, there is a level where you say I can not afford to keep paying ever increasing rates. We have reached that point with local property taxes, and taxation at the state level.

So as you can see, I am not living in a cave. You need to practice your ID and "free-ur-mind" from the negative jabs.

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Cartman 1 year, 9 months ago

Spot on. No further comment necessary.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

@ Free .... don't you mean "Give me mine no matter what it cost you." Your Grandstand statement "Let's not minimize the problem of the digital divide and how it impacts society today" should be followed by

Let's not minimize the problem of the WEALTH divide and how it impacts society today/

Having neither does not give you the right to demand support from those who do. Americans used to pull themselves up by their bootstraps until they were told vote for me and I will make others supply your wants.

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free_ur_mind 1 year, 9 months ago

@Abytaxpayer, let's do away with public schools then, which are subsidized by state taxpayers anyway. By the way, let's do away with public libraries altogether. If you want to read a book, then go to Amazon and order it. It's all about pulling ourselves up with our bootstraps and not depending on anyone.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

@Free see you just prove the point very well…..you try to make it sound like it has to be either waste money or do not support anything…If you had a little common sense you would realize the story is about the best use of LIMITED funds. You are part of the problem proclaiming no matter the best use of Limited money that taxpayers should support something that gives a limited return and penalize everyone else just so your under used facility can provide babysitting service and on-line access to a few. The board made the best decision for the most citizens, you are just upset because you did not get preferential treatment and you want someone else to pay for your wants.

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