Despite the hard work of the last several weeks, the unexpected financial catastrophe and the rather lame support of elected officials doomed not only the library ballot question but the other override questions in Brockton to defeat.
|Library Override Results-November 4, 2008|
|Ward 1 ||Ward 2 ||Ward 3 ||Ward 4 ||Ward 5 ||Ward 6 ||Ward 7 ||Total||%|
|YES||1813 ||1114 ||1640 ||1431 ||1498 ||1301 ||1552 ||10,349||34.4|
|NO||3168 ||1711 ||3159 ||2764 ||2928 ||3548 ||2582 ||19,770||65.6|
In September, Laurie and other staff of the Brockton Public Library, along with members of the Brockton Library Foundation and other library lovers formed a local ballot initiative committee, "Support Your Future". Brockton placed three Proposition 2-1/2 override measures on the November 2008 ballot, one of which was specifically to restore library funding that was cut in this year's budget.
Because of the cuts, several staff members were laid off and the branch libraries had to reduce their hours from 5 days per week to 2 days per week. The main branch is located downtown, beside the YMCA and across the street from the Senior Center, while another branch is located in our neighborhood, with the third located right beside Brockton High School.
The budget cuts have not only forced the reduction in hours, but have put the library's certification by the Mass. Library Commission in jepaordy, which could result in further funding cuts as well as the denial of participation in the local library networks for Brockton residents. In other words, a classic downward spiral.
All of the libraries are used heavily, and the budget override, which was estimated to cost the average tax payer less than $6.00 per YEAR would have allowed the library to serve all of the citizens of the city.