Letters to the Editor

Letters - Feb. 4, 2011

Central Kitsap School District levy

Vote ‘yes’

How can you even consider not voting for the February levy?

Many children are using computers that are 10 years old and can’t drink water out of the school fountains.

Many of the schools’ roofs are either leaking or about to, and with all the snow and rain in Kitsap County there’s no time to lose.

It’s going to cost a little more than $5 a month more for each homeowner and in many cases less than that.

If this levy does not pass, the money will be taken out of the general fund, which will rob the children of money that could be used for programs.

Remember Feb. 8 and vote for the levy.

Florence Meyer

Bremerton

Kitsap Regional Library

System-wide Sunday branch closures unfair

I attended the Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 25, mainly to hear the presentation of the 2011 final budget by Chief Financial Officer Bob Goldstein. Mixed in with the usual and customary reports made prior to the main budget report was an interchange about the upcoming Sunday closures. This is currently a hot topic item. It impacts four first-tier library sites, all of which have had heavily-used Sunday hours for years. In the dialogue between library trustees and administrators, the issue of Sunday closures was essentially dismissed as being done at all four sites as an “equality” issue. It is not an “equality” issue. That’s just plain silly. Are all branch libraries the same size? Do all branch libraries have the same sized collections? Do all branch libraries have the same number of staff people? Number of open hours? You get the picture. However, it is significant in revealing the current quality of library management skills and the difficulty both trustees and administrators have in dealing with tough political situations. Director Jill Jean has specifically blamed the public for the Sunday closures because of the recent levy failure. She should be looking closer to home, and at the competence of her administrative staff. Little 2011 fiscal information was actually presented. We were told 2011 budgeted expenditures would be within $700 of revenues; that a few hundred thousand would reluctantly have to be expended to cover health benefits for part time staff, and that the library would have to pay the $50,000 or so it owed the county for hosting the ill-fated 2010 ballot issue. Finally, instead of the expected overview of the final 2011 budget, we were shown a rock and roll Youtube video made by a regional library in Virginia. Done to the tune of “I Will Survive,” it was an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza. I was impressed by the camaraderie of the Virginia library staff, which is also dealing with tough budget issues. It demonstrated a level of camaraderie you won’t find at Kitsap, primarily due to poor leadership. In any case, as far as budget presentations go, about all I can say is that it had a beat, but the public shouldn’t have to dance to it.

Elliott Swanson

former head of branch services

Kitsap Regional Library

Brownsville

Thanks to Congress

More tax dollars down the rat hole

Yesterday, I received a RI 38-38 form from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The form informed me that the amount withheld for income tax on my $862 annuity was increased from $35.80 to $68.70. That is an increase of over 90 percent.

I am sure that a lot of people will want to join me in extending their personal thanks to all of the members of Congress that were part of making this happen. I am also sure that this will help the economy. I know that I, like so many others, will be looking for items that we can do without and cutting our expenses. Too bad Congress will not cut those programs that pour money down rat holes.

Louis Oliver

Bremerton

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