Library Budget Vote Tuesday, April 3
If you have never reviewed your tax bill, you may be surprised by how much the library portion amounts to. For example, the Library portion of a homeowner in the Harborfields School District who is paying $15,000 a year in property taxes is paying approximately $900 to the Harborfields Library. That’s a lot of trips to Book Revue and enough money to cover about 8 years of Netflix membership.
No one denies that the Library is a good thing but in these tough economic times it is time to look at the bigger picture. So many of our Town Libraries are beautiful inside adoring rich wood and granite counter tops. Can we say the same about our local school building? The vast majority of the Library budgets throughout our town go to employee salaries and benefits. As we cut teachers, aids and Librarians from our local schools we need to consider if personnel in our local libraries is the best use of our tax dollars.
Here are the proposed budget amounts for each local library:
Cold Spring Harbor – $ 2,563,900 (salaries and benefits $1,284,468) (library materials $233,092)
Elwood – $1,531,892 (salaries and benefit $864,773 ) (library materials $144,403)
Half Hollow Hills – $7,219,116 (salaries and benefits $5,468,326) (library materials $725,530)
Harborfields Library – $4,691,650 (salaries and benefits $3,205,000) (Library materials $283,700)
Huntington Library – $8,634,047 (salaries and benefits $6,973,660) (library services $662,350)
Northport/E. Npt – $9,130,400 (salaries and benefits $7,234,300) (library materials $575,000)
South Huntington – $5,558,455 (salaries and benefits $3,763,793) (library materials $438,600)
Two points that the local taxpayers should pay attention to; the Library Director in the Harborfields Library seems to be getting disproportionate salary increases. Her salary has gone up by nearly $28,000 in 2 years. The Northport/ East Northport Library has a budget of over $9 million. The director of that library is making approximately $200,000.
There is big money involved here and few people are paying attention. Tuesday, April 3 is election day for the local libraries. This is when you will have a chance to voice your opinion about the proposed budgets and elect Library Trustees.