We reviewed with distress the Dec. 29, 2020 edition of Montclair Local in which Erin Roll reported that, during the Dec. 15, 2020 Montclair Township Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Bill Hurlock criticized library advocates and asserted that the Montclair Public Library had received the amount it requested, saying that “the Bellevue branch will not close, and that the library will not see massive cuts.”
As Deputy Mayor Bill Hurlock well knows, the Library did not receive the full amount that was budgeted by the council. Instead, it received a greatly reduced amount that was the bare minimum required to keep the lights on in the South Fullerton branch on a Monday to Friday reduced-service basis. The Bellevue branch is closed. Further, the deputy mayor’s contention that the library “will not see massive cuts” is belied by the fact that the employment of 21 part-time staffers was terminated due to a lack of funding.
Montclair deserves a government that is transparent with its citizens and that provides more than mere lip service to its library. The library provides essential services and is deserving of Montclair’s full support. We recognize the many demands on Montclair’s elected government, but strongly urge that, given the critical importance of the library to the community at large, the library receive the full funding that it deserves and requires to fully serve all of Montclair’s citizens.
Chair, Montclair Public Library Foundation
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