Alder Mark Clear
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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No, we are not closing the Ashman Library
Studious readers of city meeting agendas may have noticed that the Public Library Board will be considering their 2014 budget request this evening. As directed by the mayor, library staff have developed a contingency plan to show how they would cut 3% from their budget should it be necessary. To meet that target, staff recommends closing the Ashman Branch library at Old Sauk and High Point.
I'm cautious but confident that such a calamity will not be necessary.
It's not that the potential isn't there, or that the staff proposal isn't serious, but I think there is a lot of public support for this (and all) libraries in Madison, and we will find another way if cuts are necessary. The Ashman branch serves a wide area, is well-used, and is an important asset to our neighborhoods.
It's important to note that we wouldn't even be talking about this if we had more stable and sustainable ways to fund our city. As I've discussed before, the city is squeezed from two sides by shrinking state aid and strict state limits on the tax levy. More about that, and perhaps some ways to mitigate it, in the coming months.
Ald. Mark Clear
I welcome your questions and comments about this or any other city issue. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-695-5709.
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