Weekend update: The Bridgeport Library Board is taking the city to court to bring a voter referendum that could determine a funding level for city libraries.
OIB friend Sly Salcedo, an attorney and member of the library board, filed a complaint in Bridgeport Superior Court on Friday. A report from Sly:
“I filed papers in Superior Court/Bridgeport against Alma Maya as Town Clerk for her refusal to accept the petition of Bridgeport voters as per Connecticut General Statute, Section 11-36 to place the following referendum question on the ballot on November 3, 2009: “Shall a one (1) mill tax be levied to establish and maintain a free library and reading room?
“The judge granted our request for an “Order to Appear and Show Cause” to Alma Maya, the Town Clerk for August 24, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.
“The case is on the CT Judicial website: www.jud.ct.gov under the case name: Liberate Libraries Committee v. Alma Maya, Docket Number CV09-4029907″
Library supporters say the Finch administration doesn’t appreciate the educational, knowledge and safety-net value of one of the finest public library systems in the state. They want voters to decide, per state statute, the funding level. Small communities in Connecticut have done this.
Assuming a judge allows the vote to go forward it sets up a battle between library lovers and city pols that want the measure to go down. One mil represents roughly $6 million in the city budget. The library budget is roughly $4 million. City pols will pit the library measure against other city departments. “The passage of this measure will require cuts to other departments.”
Library supporters will say “libraries are a quality of life tool that raises the city’s image and promotes economic growth. The city can spend millions on this and that but not adequately invest in libraries.”
Lots of questions. Does the question shoot too high in its monetary request? If the measure passes does it strip the mayor’s budgetary discretion over library personnel? What must the money be spent on? Anything associated with libraries such as capital improvements?
If this measure goes to voters it will definitely juice a turnout in an otherwise sleepy election cycle.
Anyone take a walk with the mayor at Saints on Thursday?
What would you ask?
Hey mayor, when does the battle royal with Ralph Jacobs begin to control civil service? When you can him who’ll replace him?
How about that library referendum?
Are you going to play in these City Council races?
Miss the state senate?
Methinks if you had a martini or two with Bill Finch he’d say transport me back to the state senate. Not nearly the migraine level of chief executive for the state’s largest city. Of course the mayoral pay grade is much much better. Yup, the mayor was a fixture of that clubby 36-member unit. State senate job, business community job, fishing in the Pequonnock River across from his home. Now it’s the budget, taxes, crime, crappy economy, political fights, City Hall skirmishes, party whiners. Hey, you want some cheese to go with that whine?
Yeah, being mayor is no walk in the park. I gotta think when the mayor takes those walks he internalizes what the frig am I doing here! You know why he takes those walks? Yeah, it’s good public relations shit. But it reminds Bill what he’d rather be doing. He’s really more of a walk in the park, cast a line type of guy, a true lover of urban park genius Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park and Seaside Park. He’d be perfect working for the state in charge of the Fisheries Bureau or in charge of all the state parks. (And let’s not forget Connecticut secretary of state.)
So now that you know the Democratic candidates for City Council primaries in four districts what’s your take? Fire up those phones, put on your walking shoes, dust off those absentee ballots. Mario, you out there?
News release from Governor Rell
Governor Rell: Connecticut’s Annual Sales Tax-Free Week Runs August 16-22
This Year’s Tax-Free Week Especially Welcome for Shoppers Amid Tough Economic Times, Governor Says
Governor M. Jodi Rell today said that as households across Connecticut look for ways to stretch their shopping dollars, consumers should remember that the state’s annual sales tax-free week can help maximize back-to-school budgets. This year’s event runs from Sunday, August 16, through Saturday, August 22.
During the Sales Tax Holiday Week, most individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $300 are exempt from Connecticut’s sales and use tax. During that week, the increased exemption replaces the standard exemption for clothing under $50. For purchases costing $300 or more, sales tax is calculated on the full cost of the item.
“Every year, shoppers and retailers look forward to the third week in August as a way to boost their bottom line,” Governor Rell said. “And given the present state of the economy, the Annual Sales Tax Holiday Week has become even more important. Consumers can get the most for their money and merchants see an increase in sales – everyone benefits.”
Governor Rell said many retailers schedule sales to coincide with sales tax-free week. This helps shoppers save even more money because sales tax is applied after the use of any coupons or discounts. Some items may start above the $300 threshold, but after discounts are applied they become less than $300 and are no longer subject to the tax that week.
Connecticut has offered the week of sales tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes for nine years. The state’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis has projected that the state will forgo about $3.3 million during the 2009 holiday. However, Governor Rell said the benefits of the program to the state’s consumers and businesses far outweigh this temporary revenue loss.
Check the Department of Revenue Services ( DRS ) Web site at www.ct.gov/drs for information about the Connecticut Sales Tax Holiday Week. The DRS Web site also has links to other publications to help consumers understand the regular sales and use tax exemption on clothing and footwear.