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A done deal

Posted: September 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

I am appalled at the action taken by the Santa Clarita City Council on Aug. 24, after four hours of public comments urging the city to think about withdrawing from the county library system, form a committee and let the public have a voice.

Even after the City Council members said that they wanted answers to questions about taxes, library customer requests for items outside of the Santa Clarita libraries and funding. Councilman Frank Ferry, after hours of showing boredom, said (I paraphrase), "Screw all this, let's withdraw from the county library and hire a for-profit company."

Then, one by one, with only one dissension and a request for more time for public concerns to be addressed and allayed, a majority was achieved with Ender, Ferry and McLean. Weste followed up with a meek "aye."

All the public was asking was to be heard and included in the decision-making process. Did this happen? No. It is clear that there was back-room negotiation with Library Services and Systems Incorporated, which as Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez pointed out, is a federal contractor to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.

Yes, Mr. Hernandez, Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) has clearly shown us the quality of federal contractors. LSSI may contract part of the above services, but they do not run them.

How did this happen? It was clearly a done deal before the meeting started. The attitude of the three council members leading the majority clearly spelled out they were not listening and the deal had already been struck. Time will tell if our library services will be impacted in the city. I believe they will, and Hernandez does not understand the full impact of inter-library loan as opposed to intra-library loan. We will soon find out.

By the way, where does the city plan to find additional parking at Valencia Library? I'd really like to know.


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