We have said for years that one of our public library’s great strengths is the support we receive from the community. This support is expressed in many ways: library use, donations, volunteer hours and -- most directly -- via our budget. The establishment of any public budget is a fairly intense political process, and rightly so. It’s the mechanism which expresses the will of the people for what will be done by public servants with public moneys. This is certainly true for annual municipal budgets; in Appleton, our City budget is the source of nearly all library spending. All the donations and other support, though critical, are a very small percentage of what gets approved in the budget our Mayor develops and is then debated and voted on by the Common Council.
This is neither easy nor taken lightly by any of the parties. [more...]