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3 of 5 County Commissioners Court oppose outsourcing library

ROCKWALL – After receiving hundreds of emails and calls during the past week, at least three of the five members of the Rockwall County Commissioners Court plan to vote against outsourcing County library services after it is proposed by County Judge Jerry Hogan at tomorrow’s monthly Commissioners meeting, beginning at 9 am, at the Historic Rockwall County Courthouse.

Over the past few days, Commissioners Jerry Wimpee (top row center), Dennis Bailey (top row right) and David Magness have told TheRockwallNews.com that they are opposed to giving up local control of the library.

No word has yet been received from Commissioner Lorie Grinnan.

Wimpee said he has received over 200 emails and calls alone about the issue.

“The emails and calls have paralyzed the system,” he said. “This issue goes beyond the dollars. At what cost do we do this? I’m opposed to outsourcing.”

“I believe we can get it done on the local level,” said Bailey.

Magness will not be at Tuesday’s meeting because he said that he and his family had long ago scheduled a vacation for this week. He said if the issue is still being discussed when he returns then he will vote against outsourcing. He added that saving dollars is not the only issue to consider.

Judge Hogan announced two weeks ago that he plans to propose outsourcing library services and County building custodial services in order to save a badly-needed $300,000 and $158,000, respectively, to help balance the County’s budgets for the next five years.

But he also stated that if the current library management can slash $300,000 from its budget, then he agrees that outsourcing will not be necessary.

After the Library Advisory Board only recommended cutting $30,000  from the budget, Hogan said he then contacted outsourcing company LSSI (Library Sytems & Services), which told him they could save $300,000 badly-needed dollars per year from the library’s $1.4 million budget.

Library director Marcine McCulley made a presentation at last week’s Commissioners’ workshop meeting revealing that she can also cut $300,000, $200,000 or $100,000  from its $1.4 million annual budget and still operate the library locally with basically the same services. She would have to lay off two librarians and some part-time staff, however.

County Commissioners must now determine how much to cut from the library budget, if any. That discussion is expected to begin at tomorrow’s Commissioners meeting.

Hogan has invited the community to a Town Hall meeting this evening so he can answer questions about the outsourcing alternative. The meeting begins at 7 pm on the third floor of the Historic County Courthouse on the Square in Old Town Rockwall.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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2 Responses for “3 of 5 County Commissioners Court oppose outsourcing library”

  1. Jerry says:

    Actually the one who has “no clue” is Judge Hogan. It’s easy to call for big cuts when he does not use the library services because he’s wealthy and does not need them. If he wants to make a tough decision, why not ask for a small tax increase now rather than leave that for other politicians in future years.

  2. Clark says:

    Hogan needs to stay the course and outsource the library. All the other commissioners only care about self preservation and their popularity. They have no clue on making tough decisions. All they want is positive press. I call them weak leaders. Go Hogan!

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