I was saddened to hear about the recent vote related to library funding and support. The library is such a positive influence and resource for the residents of the county. More than any other part of the county, except maybe the east side, the city of Brainerd has a high rate of low income and socioeconomic challenges. I find the library to be as essential as the police and/or fire department. Personally and within my family we use the library far more often than either of the former county departments. With the schools being close by, we often utilize the materials and space for my children’s school experiences, along with the reading program. As an avid reader myself, I am often there as well.
Any cuts will affect the already frugally paid staff, and the hours of the institution. I don’t see the librarians or staff driving SUVs or sporting fancy equipment. I believe the staff works efficiently to provide great services to all who choose to use it. It is a place for many people who don’t have access to computers, DVDs, books, newspapers, a meeting place or a place to use these resources.
I hope the county commissioners reconsider reinstating the funding for the library. I happily pay taxes and would pay more to support the library. If other parts of the county were operated on such a frugal budget, this discussion would be unnecessary. I am not sure any county employee is overpaid. From my observation, I think our county employees are an asset to our community.
Kathleen Maloney Hermerding