Budget Cuts

Administration vs. Services

A Letter to the County Executive

Monday, February 25, 1991

Neal Potter, County Executive
Executive Office Building
101 Monroe St.
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Mr. Potter,

We all recognize the need for economy at this time. It would be hard to imagine limitless spending when faced with dwindling revenues here in Montgomery County. I am writing to you today to let you know my feelings about the directions these cuts seem to be taking.

I understand that you have directed those public servants who head the various departments of the county government to submit budgets which reflect a 12% or greater cut in spending from last year's level. This seems like an excellent idea except for the fact that, at least in the two areas where I've seen the breakdown for the cuts --- the school budget and the library budget --- most of the spending reductions are at the service end of the agencies.

There is no real excuse that I can see for this pattern. Within the proposal submitted by the school board, the administrative cuts are only 5% of the total budget. The library proposal does not make any administrative cuts at all.

School and library programs take years to put into place and years to rebuild once they are dismantled. During tough economic times, libraries, schools (and parks for that matter) return a far greater benefit to the communities that they serve than almost any other agencies except for the sheriff's department and fire departments.

I'm not sure how long it takes to build a bureaucracy, but the purpose of any administrative arm of any agency is to facilitate the services which the agency provides. It just does not make sense to cut services and yet retain a proportionately larger bureaucracy to administer them.

I would suggest that you look long and hard at any pattern of cuts in any department that sacrifices availability and service to the residents of this county before it pares down administrative costs.

Thank you for your time and trouble,

Paulette Dickerson

Paulette Dickerson P.O. Box 598 Kensington, MD. 20895-0598
Private Citizen / Library Advocate

Comic Book ESP
Montgomery County Family
August Wilson
Free To All
Founding Fathers
Magic Wands
Chronic Library Users
Libraries! 24/7!
Book People
Urban Libraries
Library Questions
Neighborhood Libraries
Library Heaven
Friendly Libraries
Tight Times
Budget Cuts
Children's Library

Send comments or suggestions to:
E-Mail: "pdickerson (at) hers.com"
Paper Mail: Paulette Dickerson, P.O.Box 598, Kensington, MD 20895-0598, USA

Home Page: http://librariesfriend.com/