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Long Beach : Library Cuts Get Criticism

June 23, 1988

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.

Aaron Waxman, representing the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Assn., said a proposal to raise slip fees in city marinas is "taxation leveled at . . . boat owners without justification."

Emma Ruchames, who chairs the Long Beach Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, took issue with an expected recommendation for sewer fee increases that may be proposed by the Board of Water Commissioners in July. Hankla said funding is lagging for repair of the city sewer system.

The budget recommends the hiring of six new police officers. Hankla said discussions are being conducted about whether to put a police hiring initiative on the November ballot.

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