Community Services Director Pam Sloan is at the podium, handing off to City Librarian Chris Freeman.
Freeman is talking about possibilities for library savings. The city could order rolling closures of branch libraries to avoid closing the Troke and Fair Oaks branch libraries completely, he said. However, service would decline, he said.
A second option, he said, is to close Fair Oaks but to have rolling closures of other branches to save money. Some of the Fair Oaks library could be moved into Stribley Community Center, he said.
The last option, he said, is to use some fund balance to keep Troke open, but closing Fair Oaks and moving some of that collection to Stribley.
Mayor Ann Johnston said, “Bottom line, what are you recommending?”
Freeman said there is “an undisputed need” for library services in north Stockton. He is recommending using fund balance to keep Troke open.
Councilwoman Diana Lowery said, “What do you have in mind beyond month 12?”
Freeman said he is planning to analyze library operations and to advocate a library-specific tax.
Councilman Dale Fritchen said he is concerned about using one-time money to fund ongoing operations.
”How is this not kicking the can down the road?” he said.
O’Rourke said the only logic he can offer is that the money was originally set aside for library operations.
“It is kicking the can down the road,” O’Rourke said.
Mayor Ann Johnston said the money was once identified for operational expenses. She said she is confident that library supporters will help fund Troke going forward.
Fritchen has the microphone again. He said the city should dedicate ongoing money to keep Troke open (He was concerned about being painted as someone who wants to close Troke).
Vice Mayor Kathy Miller said she, too, would prefer to find funding elsewhere. However, she said that if that is impossible, she woud prefer to use one-time funding.
Councilwoman Susan Eggman said she favors using the $700,000 in fund balance for one year, allowing other money to go elsewhere.
Johnston said there is agreement to keep Troke open. She told O’Rourke, “We’re going to let you figure that out.”
Community Services Director Pam Sloan said the Boys and Girls Club will operate DeSouza Pool and that the city is negotiating with a group from University of the Pacific to operate the Oak Park pool. The YMCA may operate the Victory Park pool, she said.
“I’m very happy that people have stepped up,” she said.