Escondido Public Library
Escondido’s City Manager was authorized by a council majority vote on 8/23/17 to move forward with contract negotiations to privatize operation of our Public Library. A coalition of local groups have been working tirelessly to educate the public regarding the many reasons this idea is short-sighted and bad for our community. Verifiable data has been collected showing other locations of implementation having a negative impact with measurable losses. An allowance for time to present this material during the aforementioned council meeting was requested. This request was DENIED.
Staff reports purport this move will garner a $400k annual savings. Not only is this merely half of one percent of the City’s total operating budget, but also a rough estimate – not the in-depth cost analysis a decision of this magnitude deserves. Their figures do not account for the value of thousands of volunteer hours, a potential loss of tens of thousands of dollars in donations, and possible ineligibility of grant funding, should a for-profit entity become operator of our public library.
Hundreds of residents who are opposed to this decision have devoted countless hours of research and petitioned the council to halt contract negotiations until all other options have been thoroughly examined. Library staff have gone on record publicly stating they have not been given the opportunity to match the savings advertised by this company through cost reductions. Council members have admitted that the option of merging our library with the San Diego County Library System has not been presented as option. Our Library Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to oppose this decision. Please join this effort in holding our elected officials accountable. We deserve better Escondido.