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A Disservice to Our Community

Published June 10, 2020

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I was disappointed to learn that at the recent RTM budget meeting, Republicans cut $45,000 from the library budget approved by the Board of Finance. Republican RTM Education Committee Chairman Frank Twohill introduced a motion to fund our library for fiscal year 2020-’21 at the fiscal year 2019-’20 level, resulting in a reduction in the library’s requested operating budget by $45,000 for fiscal year 2020-’21. This, despite the fact that our Board of Finance approved an operating budget for the library for fiscal year 2020-’21 that included the $45,000 representative Twohill requested be cut. Not surprisingly, Twohill’s motion to cut the budget passed along party lines 15-13.

I am a lifelong resident of the Town of Branford. The library has always been the cornerstone and life blood of our town. The cuts to the library budget that the Republicans supported may result in the reduction of educational programs, reduction of Sunday hours, the acquisition of less material for library users, and staff reductions.

During this pandemic, the library has provided remote access for our citizens. When not in pandemic mode, the library serves as the front line in an effort to close the digital divide. It is a place where our citizens can gain access to information that allows them to get better grades, earn more money, and be better informed. The library serves everyone regardless of social status and income level. It is a place where people of all backgrounds can interact, learn and grow together.

Our library serves as a center of information and knowledge and provides people access to the technology needed to participate. Cutting funding to the library does a disservice to our community. The money should be restored to the library budget consistent with the recommendation of our Board of Finance.

Charles Tiernan III