Tuesday morning at 9:00 the Cobb County Commission may/will/might/could vote on the new budget proposed by Chairman Lee.

Despite calling for a tax hike and across the board departmental cuts, the budget also closes 13 of the county’s 17 libraries, closes two pools and two senior centers.

Two groups have formed on Facebook to oppose the cuts, and you can contact your Commissioners here.

Rumor says only 12 citizens will be allowed to speak at Tuesday mornings commission meeting, and of course this news gives citizens only 4 days to respond and let their voices be heard.  Speak up and speak loud, Cobb County.

 

12 Responses to Attention: Cobb County Residents

  1. Tanesha says:

    The closing of the libraries will most def. do more harm then good as for letting the kids use the library at school till 5 do u really see elementary schools allowing that to happen it is not just the older kids that suffer but the younger ones as well my girls love the story time at the library and the other activities that they have participated in.

    Living in my area once they shut down the libraries the closest one to me will be central off of Roswell rd. that is a 35 min drive for me and with gas 5 bucks a gallon not to sure i could handle that extra mileage twice a week. The statement that this is only a problem for people in Marietta is untrue, as i do not live in Marietta.

    What about the families that do not have computer access or internet and the children in those families that have assignments that are internet or computer based. My 2nd grader has technology homework every week if I did not have internet that would pose a serious problem since the library down the street from my house will be closing.
    Also the college students that do not have access to the internet will also be at a loss sure there are computer labs at the school but not enough. I have several older women in my classes that go to the library to turn in homework, research materials for class, and are learning how to use the internet and computers,who do not live near Central, Mountain View, South Cobb or West Cobb. It is all well and good for the ppl that do but what about those that don’t?

    It is a sad loss indeed or at least to my family and I.
    If i had to have the increase in tax i would rather pay it in knowing that it is for a kids love of learning than for some other garbage they make up.

  2. Jen B. says:

    So, here’s what they did.

    “The approved budget requires a 10 percent cut in county departments and requires county employees and fire personnel to take five furlough days. The budget also closes the Windy Hill Senior Center in Smyrna and senior day care center in Marietta. The Mable House Amphitheater in Mableton, a money loser for the county, will be operated as a rental facility only.”

    Oh yes, let’s furlough fire personnel!

    • Leslie Adams says:

      The Board punted. The original proposal included a millage rate increase to the fire fund. The final proposal, which was never presented to the public before the meeting and vote, shifted some money around between funds and dipped into reserves. Despite the fact that the tax digest and revenues have gone down, the commissioners are so fearful of being associated with a tax increase that the fire fund millage rate did not change. This was a very short term solution.

      With regard to libraries, the final proposal changed from closing 76% of the libraries and cutting 3.5% of every other department to cutting 10% of every department, including the libraries. So now the cuts are more equal, and department managers will make decisions on how to apply the cuts, but in essence they have created animosity between different county departments. Which takes the heat of them and distracts everyone from the mismanagement and poor choices Cobb County has made for some time. While the county was lauded for fiscal responsibility, money that was set aside for specific purposes was diverted to cover general fund shortfalls. A comprehensive audit needs to be done.

  3. JMPrince says:

    I think the main point here is not the books per se. It’s that the libraries are and remain a place for learning. And the self directed path to the discovery of same in and for various interests & venues. It’s often a place for kids to go after school to find ‘safer’ activities to occupy them while/after they do their homework in a quieter environment and try and keep out of trouble. This is why the net connections & computer availability are now critical to the enterprise. But above all it’s about the opportunity of Learning to Learn. Sometimes this can & might happen in our schools. But presently? This is still a crap shoot. As always. JMP

    • Jules says:

      Don’t all schools themselves have libraries? Can’t students be allowed to use them till 5? I mean the sports teams are around till then anyway shouldn’t the kids have access to the library as well as gym?

      • JMPrince says:

        Yep. And this is not an argument for how they might cut there or where. They’ve got plenty of ‘gold plated’ services in Cobb, many connected with yes, seniors too. But there’s constant cut backs with school libraries also. JMP

  4. Jules says:

    I grew up in a small town, in a larger area made up of small towns. We had one library that was vibrantly used, well stocked and offered multiple services.

    When we moved here 21 yrs ago, I attempted to go to the library and checkout a book.. well the East Cobb branch seriously had almost no books.. zillions of magazines and videos but very few books..in fact they told me to go to barnes and noble. Yup.. this very same library also requires that if you want to read to children you must have a library science degree to volunteer.

    The only way to get books you want to read is to search for them on Amazon, then log into the library website and request them. They will find them in the system, and call you when they have them for you. The system is pretty clunky so you don’t want to search for them there, and the branches aren’t very well stocked unless you like romance novels.

    I’d like to get worked up about closing the libraries in principal, but in actual fact-with the internet for research, audible for audio books to my ipod, barnes and noble to browse in, kindle to own them without clutter..second hand book sellers to buy them from hum I’m struggling to do so.

    I realize I’m saying this with a ton of advantages, but if you told me I had a choice between keeping teachers or books no one is reading.. I’m going with the teachers.

  5. Jen B. says:

    The County has to cut somewhere – the question is where do the cuts come from? Cobb has 17 libraries. I mean, shit, I went to high school in a county that was LARGER than Cobb and that one library for the entire county. If the library next to you closes (and to be honest, Cobb is planning on closing one that is 1/2 mile from me), you go one of the other 13 that is remaining open. I’m not going to win any popularity points with this one and fine with keep everything open as long as there’s something else to cut – the question is what?

    • Trevor Southerland says:

      No, the county doesn’t “have” to cut from somewhere. You assume it does because it seems that everyone takes the option of raising taxes off the table.

      I’m sure that some cuts are necessary, but the problem I have here is that 4 days is not enough time for public input. This is an obvious attempt on behalf of the Commission to rush through these changes before the public can be heard.

      I want to see everything on the table, and if you’re going to lower my property value even further by reducing county services, I want it to be justified and spelled out in plain English.

      I’m from a county that’s larger than Cobb too… and takes about 25% of the time it takes to drive from one side to the other. I mean, I live closer to Cartersville and Hiram than I do Marietta. On some days it can take a couple of hours to get from mile marker 277 to mile marker 259.

      Closing 13 of 17 libraries is absurd. It’s drastic, it’s over the top and it’s unacceptable.

      There’s not going to be “13 remaining open” there’s going to be 4. 13 are closing.

      • Jen B. says:

        Reading is fundamental. Even thought I knew only 4 libraries were going to remain, I must have flipped it in my head and thought only four were closing.

        In any event, Cobb is not going to raise property taxes in order to keep libraries and senior centers open. So yes, cuts will have to come from somewhere.

        “I mean, I live closer to Cartersville and Hiram than I do Marietta.”

        And I live closer to the Fulton library on Northside than to the one in Marietta. If there’s one we can agree on – it’s that Marietta is only convenient to those that live there.

  6. Leslie Adams says:

    I don’t recall seeing a fire station or library on the recent SPLOST project list. Did I miss something?

  7. Waldo says:

    Are you surprised?

    Same thing that happened in Gwinnett. Once the tax hike proposal was defeated the BOC cried wolf about cutting libraries and police officers until they past a tax hike. (“We didn’t cut the hours, the library board did that.” Riight. And you set their funding level).

    Gwinnett used SPLOST to build a new library and 4 new fire stations and then didn’t even have the money for books, let alone firefighters. “Cutting 54 safety positions” really ment we built these building with no way to fund the usage and now we will create a false panic to get what we (BOC) wanted.

    Now that Cobb has voted to keep SPLOST they will build more facilities (firehouses, libraries, etc) that will create additional budget burden for things like firefighters, emts, and books.
    Aren’t you Cobb citizens glad you voted to let your BOC keep that political leverage?