Friday, February 26, 2010

County Budget is On the Table



Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin unveiled his "solutions" to our budget crisis this week. If you want to see the Washington Post article, click here.


If you want to see how the proposals for Fiscal Year 2011 actually break out, you might want to spend some time on the Fairfax County government page by clicking here.


What neither the article or the numerous links on the Fairfax County Government page make clear is how disproportionate and inequitable the budget cuts are. The way they hit the library system are:


Fairfax County Public Libraries (FCPL) represent 1% of the total county budget.
In Fiscal Year 2010 FCPL was asked to cut 15%. They did, and you now have shorter hours, almost no magazines, and fewer staff people. A few months later they were asked to come up with another 3% in cuts.
In Fiscal Year 2011 FCPL is being asked to cut another 15%. That will result in even shorter hours, and even fewer staff.
To date, FCPL has been asked to cut a total of 33%.


Contrast this with many other agencies that have been asked to cut 3%.  No, that is NOT a typo.  THREE PERCENT.


Not only is it inequitable it is stupid! It's like kicking the smallest member of your team around just because he's the smallest -- when you're the one that has kept him small!


If you need real numbers to understand how inequitable this is, these are some of the numbers from the pie chart:


Parks & Libraries (combined) 1.4%
Public Safety    12.3%
Health & Welfare 11%
Fairfax County Public Schools 53.8%


Is there some reason they can't ask ALL agencies to take an 8% cut across the board? 


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