Outsourcing library taken off Commissioners meeting agenda after hundreds attend town hall meeting

ROCKWALL – After a standing room-only crowd of over 300 people packed County Judge Jerry Hogan’s Town Hall meeting last night at the Historic County Courthouse on the Square, and the majority made it clear they do not want the County library outsourced, the County’s chief administrator agreed to remove his outsourcing proposal from the agenda of this morning’s County Commissioners meeting.

Instead, library director Marcine McCulley will continue to operate the library locally with a new, as-yet to-be-determined budget, which will likely be discussed by Commissioners at this morning’s meeting. Hogan revealed at the end of the meeting that he had met with McCulley before the meeting and agreed on a $250,000 cut.

McCulley had made a presentation at the Commissioners work session last week showing how she can cut $100,000, $200,000 or $300,000 from the library’s $1.4 million budget and still keep most current services intact and most library staff employed.

To reduce those amounts, she would have to lay off or reduce either one or two librarians to part-time staff, reduce the number of part-time staff members and limit the library’s purchase of supplies, equipment and maintenance agreements.

At the most extreme $300,000 level, she would slash 75 percent of “public programs” and nearly $10,000 worth of computer programs; discontinue the $6,000 Dallas Morning News subscriptions, and World Book online; plus cut back on the purchase of additional “books and periodicals” by $7,000.

Over 25 questions and comments were made by audience members, comprised largely by the 50+ set. Most were respectful of Hogan, who spent the first 20 minutes of the evening explaining why outsourcing library and County building custodial services made sense to him financially.

He said because the County growth has slowed considerably, housing values continue to decline and revenue has consequently been reduced, budget forecasts for the next five years show the County will have a difficult time balancing its budget. He explained that whatever amounts could be shaved from the library’s budget and by outsourcing custodial services will help prevent forcing the County to dip into its six-month reserve, which he does not want to do.

He reiterated that the rumor is false that he wants to take money from the library to pay for the completion of the new County courthouse, next to the library. The funding for the $30 million + courthouse has already been secured and is entirely separate.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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2 Responses for “Outsourcing library taken off Commissioners meeting agenda after hundreds attend town hall meeting”

  1. [...] Glad to see our County Judge and Commissioners have listened to local citizens about the County library and taken outsourcing off their upcoming meeting agenda. Here’s the story (and photos) from [...]

  2. Clark says:

    Interesting that the library director can cut all this money now. Keep the pressure on them Judge Hogan!! Additionally, we need to get rid of Dave Madness, he is a thorn in your side and will hold back progress, govt transparency, and fiscial responsibility. I say outsource them for not coming up with cost savings sooner. A library is a waste of my taxes. Everything can be found online. My kids never use it.

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