Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rancho Cucamonga: Cavalry to the rescue?

At 11:01 p.m. last night, the Pomona City Manager dropped word that the City of Rancho Cucamonga was interested in assuming control of the Pomona library, as a branch of its library, at a cost in the ballpark of the $400,000 placeholder indicated in the revised proposed budget.

So it appears that the cavalry may have shown up, contrary to my last post (and I do thank those who spoke, and butchered that Salinas analogy thoroughly - myself included).

The Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, which includes a library (left).
Many Pomona citizens are right to be skeptical, myself included. Mickey Gallivan, of the Pomona Valley Historical Society, after going on a rant about the lack of culture in the Northern California suburbs of Walnut Creek and Concord, asked if Rancho Cucamonga was trying to steal our history because Cucamonga has no history (although there may be more history than some folks realize). I am concerned that the proposed cost that Rancho Cucamonga may be proposing may be too low and not a good value for their constituents, who may end up not wanting to subsidize the noblesse oblige that their city manager appears to be engaging in - or may try to make up the difference later. Still others are concerned that Cucamonga staff will replace Pomona staff, and the institutional knowledge of our existing librarians and staff will be lost. Along with Ontario, Pomona is one of the few comprehensive public libraries in the Inland Empire, with a wide array of resources aside from popular books found at smaller libraries.

While I appreciate the sentiment and gesture from Rancho Cucamonga, it is important that this proposal be thoroughly vetted to ensure that it meets Pomona's values. While it certainly seems more favorable than a private company running the libraries, the devil is in the details. There needs to be enough money to fund this adequately, and not spend down precious reserves, or else the city may be better off shutting down the library, after all, to preserve its credit rating. Revenue needs to be an option, to fund these services properly for the long term.


Ren said...

Why don't we rent out the City Hall, why not our city goverment can't run it. That's crazy letting another city come in and run the library. Next it will be the Fire Dept. and so on when will the madness stop.

Anonymous said...

Nice job counsil. Bankruptcy is inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Ren, you rather not have a library at all than having outside help? That's just wrong.

Anonymous said...

Or as it turns out, the cavalry didn't really even know there was a rescue being planned. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_20943602/library-rescue-nobodys-same-page

The city that gambled and lost its library on a tax ruling that didn't go its way has now presented and sold the council (and the public) on a rescue mission so preliminary that the rancho library director didn't even know about it.

The same city that pit the library against a fire station to try to balance the budget.

The same city that earlier in the year tried to outsource library operations to a company in Maryland.

The same city that while others were given a furlough day amounting to 5% of their pay slashed most library staff hours by 50%

Yes, the city's funds have been dwindling but it seems that the library is always targeted for demise. This is open hostility under the guise of shared sacrifice.

After the heart of the community stops beating, who will invest in a city that will not invest in its own people?

Ren said...

I didn't say I didn't want a library and anonymous why don't you come out of the shadows anyway.You should change your name from anonymouse to annoying. Anyway we need to vote these people out of office so if you want change GO OUT AND VOTE and change the path that this city is on. And anonymous when you get your ^%#@ together maybe you will let us know who you are, but in the mean time your annoying to me.