May 11, 2006

Starosciak asks community to support library/cherry festival

The following is a letter sent by District 4 city council member Joyce Starosciak to her supporters. In the letter Starosciak argues that there will be money in the city budget that can be allocated to re-open the libary on Sundays and to fund the Cherry Festival (cut from last year's budget). She asks the community to let other city council members know they support these expenditures.

Dear Friends,

The City Council work session on the budget last night left me with a very disturbing sense that I need your help to understand and to respond.

The City looks to be in good fiscal shape for the 2006-07 budget year. While costs are increasing, the passage of the Measure I Business License Fee will help us increase our revenue to compensate for the additional costs. In fact, even the most conservative projections show that our ending balance will be $238,000 in the black.

The disappointment is that even with this strong and conservative projection, the Cherry Festival and the Sunday Library Hours are not proposed to be restored in this budget.

Last night I implored my colleagues on the Council to consider using a modest $200k of our budget to restore these very important community assets. With the exception of Councilmember Nardine, the Council was completely silent on this issue. Councilmember Nardine shared my opinion that these were very important services to restore. The Mayor instead suggested that we wait until September or October to review our revenue before considering funding these programs.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we cannot wait until September to fund these programs. They are vital now. In fact they have been sorely missed for 2 years. Even if funded now, the Cherry Festival will not happen until 2007. I do not want to pass up this opportunity and push it out until 2008! In addition, the City staff must start working now to pull the festival together for next year. They cannot sit in limbo until October, they deserve a firm commitment from the City Council.

So I am asking you, the active members of the community, to get involved. There are two things that you can do.

1) Contact the rest of the Council to tell them how you feel about the Cherry Festival and the Sunday Library Hours. Each program costs less than (or equal to, there are no firm numbers) $100,000. Let them know how their leadership can make a difference. If you feel very strongly, let the Mayoral candidates hear that your consideration of their leadership depends on this issue. How can they abandoned two of the most important programs in San Leandro and at the same time say they want to lead this City in a better direction? Let them know how you feel.

There are other budget issues that I will discuss in future updates. This one, however needs your attention right away.

Our Council meets again on May 15, which is our regular meeting date. The next consideration of the budget will be June 5, where we will be reviewing the Draft Budget. We hope to approve the final budget on June 19.

It is important for your voice to be heard before May 15. That is where the Council has final input before the Draft Budget is presented. Calls and emails are good; personal letters are even better. Please let me and the other Councilmembers know how you feel.

As always, I appreciate your feedback on these issues.

Joyce Starosciak

City 510.351.5876

Posted by marga at May 11, 2006 4:54 PM | TrackBack
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