Letter: Hunter, Suggestions for the 2017 GCLD budget
August 3, 2016
Suggestions for the 2017 GCLD budget
Mary Chance, Grand County Library District Trustee, in her July 27 letter to the Sky-Hi News, stated that very few good suggestions for saving money had been put forth. After looking at the GCLD 2016 budget I would like to make some suggestions for 2017 based on cutting overhead and not services from the five library branches. If the $26,000 for 23 new computers in Granby hasn't been spent yet, put a halt on that and don't add this to the 2017 budget. In the future, fix broken computers when possible and replace computers only as necessary instead of all at once. If the $11,000 for a new phone system for the Administration building hasn't been spent yet find something less costly and don't add this to the 2017 budget.
At a time of financial crisis, as this has been described:
• put a freeze on merit bonuses — $7,800 saved
• put a freeze on travel to library conventions — $13,688 saved
• eliminate tuition reimbursement — $7,500 saved
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• reduce the library materials budget by 30 percent — $36,000 saved
• reduce the technology budget by 15 percent — $41,000 saved
That's over $140,000 right there without reducing open hours at the library branches and without laying anyone off. If necessary, more savings could be had through those measures. I came up with these numbers after a quick look at the 2016 budget. I'm sure that there would be reasons not to cut everything that I've mentioned to the degree that I have suggested. At the same time, I'm sure that the Finance Director and the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees could find additional areas to reduce. A truly transparent budget that includes employee salaries would give us all a clearer understanding of where we stand before making budget cuts. I believe that it is possible to come up with a budget that both reduces spending but doesn't close one library branch and reduce others to a "kiosk" status. We CAN keep all five library branches open.
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