As you may have heard, the City of Monterey faces devastating revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the April 21 meeting, the City Council will consider a proposal to reduce 106 city positions, 83 of which are currently filled. 16 library positions are included. The proposal would leave just 3 Library staff members, and no Museums staff, to serve the community for the foreseeable future.
The Friends (now Friends and Foundation) President has submitted the following comment on behalf of the Board:
Honorable Mayor and Council,
On behalf of the Monterey Public Library Friends and Foundation, I would like to submit these comments regarding the proposed City staff layoffs.
We recognize that the City is facing an unprecedented situation and a dire fiscal challenge. We share your concern for the City and the Monterey community as you consider the difficult decisions before you. We are grateful for every City staff member, and we recognize the value of their hard work and the services they provide.
We are very concerned that the proposal will drastically limit community access to essential and unique library services even after the shelter in place order is lifted. Library services are particularly important during hard economic times and particularly valuable to those most in need, providing practical information on topics such as job hunting, free resources for readers, listeners, and viewers, and a source of inspiration, solace and community. We are especially concerned about activities and services for children and families facing extended school closures and unprecedented demands. We ask you to find a way to restore library programs and services as soon as humanly possible.
We will continue to work with you to support the Library in any way we can. Please let us know how we can help.
You can view the April 21 Council agenda packet here. You can watch the meeting live on the City’s YouTube Channel and call in to comment.