Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Literacy important enough to strip from budget

Budget Cuts Take Bite Out Of Library Hours
July 9, 2007, Jacksonville News
Jacksonville book lovers recently got some bad news as the continuing story of the city's budget bind takes a bite out of local libraries.

In response to the 2007-2008 budget cuts, the library will cut nearly $3 million by reducing services and programs.

Last week, Mayor John Peyton pointed in his inauguration speech about how important literacy is to youth.

"Literacy is the No. 1 predictor of educational success," Peyton said.

"Therefore, I must now rip $3 million from kids and their families who want to use the library."

Mom and son at the library
Jacksonville News photo

That last quote is not the mayor. It was his fountain pen talking.

The old joke asks how one can tell that a lawyer is lying. Answer: his lips are moving. Similarly with this politician, his mouth says one thing and his actions say quite another thing.

He did have the decency to do it straight, and not hide behind a nefarious smokescreen of accounting.

However, Mayor Peyton will doubtless find a good reason for buying a new SUV to chauffeur him around town on official business, or for stipulating a pay raise for a nephew or some other politician trick.

Meanwhile, kids and their families are left high and dry.