Residents should also approve the Long Beach Public Library budget, though we don’t think the board of trustees has done enough to address the future of the West End branch.
While the board managed to trim the current $3.4 million spending plan by $44,000, decreasing the tax levy by $2,000, its majority has ignored requests to find ways to fund a new West End location.
It’s great that trustees agreed to open a new branch in Point Lookout, but they should have addressed the needs of West End residents as well. That branch’s lease was allowed to run out, and a public survey has been put off for almost a year now. It’s unconscionable that West Enders have been left without answers for this long.
Put Parr on the board
The Herald is endorsing challenger Diane Parr for the one library board seat that is up for election, currently held by Dr. Ira Grushack.
Anyone who attends board meetings, or even reads the minutes online, can see that there is a contentious rift among the trustees — evidenced by their 3-2 vote to adopt the budget proposal. We think that a shakeup in leadership would produce a more open exchange of ideas and a restoration of decorum.
A modernized library does not serve residents if they don’t know how to use it. Parr has proposed many ways to not only provide patrons with services they need, but also to help them navigate the facility’s new technology. And as a West End resident, she will be able to provide insight into the needs of that community.
Though we don’t doubt that Grushack is a capable trustee, we believe Parr will bring new ideas and a new balance to a divided board.