Seattle Courant

Mayor's Staff Briefs City Council on $13 Million Budget Cuts

Signs protesting budget cuts.
By Keith Vance
April 20, 2009 06:04PM

The number of people attending the library continues to go up, said Susan Adkins. Adkins is the president of the Seattle Public Library Foundation, she said that libraries provide a safe-haven for people, and while she's pleased that Nickels has maintained branch hours this year, she's concerned about next year.

Libraries, she said, provide access to information for everyone. “Please help us preserve our branch hours in 2010,” pleaded Adkins.

If the economy continues to sour, that could be difficult to do. Early predictions are showing a $40 million budget shortfall for 2010 and there's no evidence that this deficit will not increase.

One speaker, Linda Averill from Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity, suggested taxing millionaires to balance the budget. During a recession, she said the city should be boosting services rather than reducing them.

Maybe so, but the reality of the situation is that the city’s budget is short. As a result, it looks like the entire library system will be shut down for a week in August.

The specific dates have yet to be solidified, but the city's budget director Dwight Dively said the last week of August is historically the slowest time of the year for the libraries.

Citizens sign up to speak.
Councilmember Jean Godden, Budget Committee Chair