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LB's New "Billie Jean King Main Library" Will Be Locked/Closed Sundays Despite Measure A Millions And Despite 88k In FY20 Recently Allocated By Council; Four Sunday-Open Branches Will Shrink To Two From Nov.-June, Then None Open Sunday Unless Council Budgets More, Library Mgm't Tells Mayor/Council


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(Oct. 9, 2019, 9:15 p.m.) -- LB's new "Billie Jean King Main Library" isn't just roughly 30% smaller than LB's former Main Library; it will also be locked/closed on Sundays despite the City collecting roughly $60 million a year from LB consumes in the Measure A sales tax and a Council Sept. 2019 FY20 budget allocation of roughly $88,000 to "possibly" restore some Sunday hours.

Instead, LB's Sunday-open libraries branches will shrink from four branches currently open Sundays (El Dorado, Burnett, Bay Shore and Michelle Obama) to only two (Bay Shore and Michelle Obama) starting in November 2019 (El Dorado and Burnett branches won't be open on Sundays starting in November) and Sunday hours at the Bay Shore and Michelle Obama branches will only run for seven months through June 2020 (the end of the June 2020 school year), LB Library management has told the Mayor/Council in a memo..

In an Oct. 7 memo to City Manager Tom Modica for LB's Mayor/Council, LB Director of Library Services, Glenda Williams, says the annual amount needed to continue Sunday hours (noon to 4 p.m.) at all four branches amounts to $268,000. The memo recommends using the Council's $88,000 FY20 budget allocation to "maintain" Sunday hours at the Bay Shore (Belmont Shore) and Michelle Obama (NLB) branches through June 2020.

"If the Council wishes to extend [Sunday hours] beyond this time, additional funding would need to be identified," Ms. Williams' memo states.

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By LBREPORT.com's unofficial reckoning, $268,000 (to keep all four currently Sunday-open branch libraries open on Sunday) minus $88,000 already allocated by the Council leaves a $180,000 gap to fill. $180,000 is roughly 0.003% of the roughly $60,000,000 in General Fund ("blank check") revenue City Hall currently receives from LB consumers under the Measure A (June 2016) sales tax increase. In July 2019, the Council voted without dissent to put a measure on a special citywide March 2020 ballot to turn the "tempoary" tax approved by voters in June 2016 into a permanent continuing tax in part to fund seismic repairs at the City-owned site.

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The Council has signaled (in a preliminary vote) that it supports allocating $25 million over 20 years [from Measure A] to enable a privately run for-profit LLC ("Molina/Wu/Network") to operate a smaller version of LB's former Community Hospital on the city (with the LLC also paying up to $25 million in seismic costs plus annual rent to the City of $1/year.)

Thus far, the LB City Council has used Measure A mainly to fund street/sidewalk repair and infrastructure items, plus restore Fire Engine 8 (Belmont Shore), Rescue 12 (NLB), Engine 17 ("one time" funds for two years) and has restored budgeted funding for 22 citywide deployable police officers out of 208 officers the Council began erasing starting in 2009 (leaving 186 officers not restored to date for LB taxpayers.)

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