Library Rally and Escondido City Council Meeting
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Rally ~ 3:30 in front of City Hall
Council Meeting ~ 4:30 in Council Chambers
At the Escondido City Council meeting on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Mayor and City Council are planning to vote on a proposal to outsource the Escondido Library management to a private, for-profit, East coast company called LS&S. Comments by the Mayor and some Council members indicate that they’re planning to vote in favor of outsourcing. There are a number of reasons this would not serve the Escondido community:
* We would lose local control of an important city resource
* Our local tax $$ would go to a corporate organization in Maryland, and not stay in our community
* It will further divide the community and reduce support for a bond for a new library
* There will be a loss of volunteers, donations, and skilled library personnel
* Outsourcing of our library is opposed by over 2,000 residents and the American Library Association
* The “ALA affirms that publicly funded libraries should remain directly accountable to the publics they
One of the biggest concerns with this plan is the secretive and expedited way the process has been handled by the City Manager and the majority of the City Council. A proper process would include the following steps:
1. Clearly identify the pension liability, and create a comprehensive plan and timeline to address it. The plan should evaluate ALL City of Escondido departments to determine their impact. This is a significant concern, and there needs to be a long term strategy – not a bandaid!
2. Define metrics for measuring library performance
3. Evaluate current performance against those metrics
4. Solicit input from the community and users of the library
5. Identify possible options to consider – in this case, joining the San Diego County Library System
6. Evaluate all of the options thoroughly
7. Make an informed, well-considered decision
None of this has happened, and this is too big a decision to be handled so carelessly. Ideally, the proposal to outsource/privatize the library will be halted. Barring that, the vote should be delayed until proper due diligence can be performed.
What you can do:
* CALL the Mayor and City Council and let them know your feelings. Ask to speak directly to them or leave a message.
* Mayor’s Office: 760-839-4610
* City Council’s Office: 760-839-4638
* EMAIL them all at once using this link: https://www.escondido.org/city-council-contact-us.aspx or send a letter to 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025-2798
* WRITE a letter to the editor email@example.com and Times-Advocate and
* TALK to your friends and neighbors. Help Save our Library services!
* ATTEND the August 23rd Rally and City Council Meeting (stay for the whole meeting if possible)