Despite the city manager's warnings about overspending, the Long Beach City Council expressed concern this week about funding cutbacks at public libraries.
"I'm certainly not happy to see it cut," Councilman Tom Clark said at a presentation of City Manager James C. Hankla's proposed city budget. Council members Ray Grabinski, Jan Hall and Clarence Smith said they also are concerned about the $113,700 in cuts proposed for the libraries, which would reduce reference desk staffing. Smith said he wants to make sure the libraries continue their popular summer reading program for children.
Paul Schmidt, a spokesman for Long Beach Area Citizens Involved, said the council should enhance, rather than cut, the library's budget.
The library reduction is accompanied by fee and rate increases in the $1.1-billion budget recommendation that drew criticism from some members of the public.