They plan to outsource the parks, no matter how much the city's youth might benefit from current volunteer programs, and no matter how much money these volunteer programs might save the city. One youth cited the figure of 80K to me at the council meeting. In a city so strapped for cash 80K is a lot of money, or so they tell us.
The city is also considering outsourcing the library, although where is as yet unclear. Another bad idea. The American Library Association did a study on the problems of outsourcing, which you can read here. Even outsourcing to another public entity will cause:
- · loss of jobs
- · loss of control over programming and collections
- · difficulty in regaining the facility for the city
- · loss of community involvement
- potential loss of access to space for community groups
- · loss of accountability
Council did manage to find 400K. So why why not use that money to keep the library open for another three months while looking for additional funding. If August 1 is the deadline for a ballot measure, as stated at the council meeting, we should get moving. The public task force will meet every week at 10 am at the library to plan next steps for saving the library. Everyone is welcome.
To resist privatization, we need to take back people power in other ways as well. At the council meeting the main place for ordinary voices to be heard was outside the council chambers--once again the mayor found ways not to listen to his constituents, this time by slowing down the budget presentation. People came expecting to be able to be heard. Everyone was told to be on time, 6 pm sharp. By 10:00 pm, people were exhausted and discouraged. Many left. If the council won't hear us and persists in putting public funds and the people's power into the hands of private corporations, then maybe we need to find other ways to make Pomona a place for the people.