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It’s not an evil plan

Posted: July 31, 2010 7:35 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Today’s Opinion page (July 26) contained a great juxtaposition between Steve Lunetta’s column (“Speak only when you have the facts”) and Carole Lutness’ letter to the editor decrying the alleged privatization of our local libraries (“Public libraries should stay public”).

Had Lutness had the facts, she would not have needed to write her factually inaccurate letter. Privatization is defined as transferring a business from public (government) ownership to private ownership. The plan presented by the city does no such thing.

The plan does entail transferring ownership of the local libraries from county ownership to city ownership. The stated purpose is to obtain better and more efficient service. Why should the Canyon Country and Newhall libraries maintain shorter hours than the Valencia library? Why aren’t they open on Sunday, as is Valencia?

If the city contracts out to a nationally recognized library service company, why would we be concerned with a political or religious bias anymore than we would from our transportation provider or even from our current provider?

The city currently outsources our police services to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. As with a library service provider, we get the service we demand and pay for.

Since we demand and pay for better service than the unincorporated areas of the county, we get better service and more coverage. The same will happen with library service. If the City Council fails to contract for adequate police services, we have a remedy as we will with library services. 

There is nothing inherently evil in contracting for outside management of a library system. The Riverside County Library system uses contract management. Of the eight largest cities in Los Angeles County, Santa Clarita (No. 4) is the only one that has not yet created its own system.

It amazes me that any city resident would complain about getting maximum value for our tax expenditures. If the county is using local library funds for other libraries, I have no problem with the city trying to “bring home” these funds for the benefit of the citizens of the city of Santa Clarita.


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