Support library funding

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We are writing this letter in an attempt to make the citizens of Malibu aware of a serious upcoming crisis affecting our community library. Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget for 2004-2005 will shift property tax funds from local government to the State. This shift will cause significant cuts in public services including libraries, parks, sheriff, and other local services. The County Library will be forced to cut service hours by 40%, including the closure of 16 libraries and one bookmobile. Our local Malibu Public library and the Las Virgenes Bookmobile that serves Pt. Dume and Topanga are potential targets, definitely for service reductions, and possibly even closure.

In the early and mid-1990’s, under then Governor Pete Wilson, the State did the same property tax shift. The County Library lost 50% of its funding in that shift and the library has never recovered from that loss. During that time, our Friends of the Malibu Library group joined with the City of Malibu to pay for keeping the library open one extra day per week, and collected thousands of signatures on a petition to keep our library open. In addition, we sent a mailing to 6,000 people, whose response also helped to keep the library open and obtain what books were actually bought.

This year the Malibu Library, always under-funded by the County, has had its materials budget slashed by 60% even before the upcoming Draconian measures were proposed. Furthermore, even if Proposition 57 passes, this plan will go forward. The Friends of the Malibu Library has compensated for this lack of funding over the years by raising and donating approximately $15,000 per year, but this is nowhere near enough to make up for what is being lost.

What can be done? You can e-mail, call or write the Governor and your local state legislators and ask that they find a State Budget solution that will not cut local public services. You can contact our local library at (310) 456-6438 for more information. We need your help! Here are the addresses:

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-445-2841

Fax: 916-445-4633

governor@governor.ca.gov

The Honorable Sheila Kuehl

http://democrats.sen.ca.gov/senator/kuehl/

The Honorable Fran Pavley – Assemblymember.Pavley@assembly.ca.gov or

http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a41/

The Board of Directors

Friends of the Malibu Library

June Korn, president