Bill James responds to e-mails about library closings

The ImaginOn Library downtown staffs about 50 employees.

County Board of Commissioner Bill James posted a Facebook entry Saturday responding to some 200 e-mails he has received regarding the library closings. In an attached PDF (which can be read here), James said the County cannot by law raise taxes in the middle of the year; it can’t sell the arena and it can’t eliminate CMS busing. James did offer the idea of the library implementing a program where it could charge for library cards, in addition to continuing to raise funds from the community. One question that puzzled James was what would happen in the event the library raised, say $500,000, of the $2 million it needs. How would it determine what libraries stay open and what ones stay closed?

One of the better ideas James said was closing the ImaginOn in downtown, the children’s library/theatre.

“As with most things in Charlotte, the Library revolves around ‘uptown’. The main branch is there and so is the Martin center. Those two facilities take up a large portion of the budget. Shut down the Martin Center and you save a bundle. I doubt it would ever happen because of the way uptown protects its own. Most of the Library Board members are uptown centric and don’t reside in the burbs (or on the west side). I am not advocating closing the Martin Center (or any branch) but the reality is it is VERY expensive to run so closing it create a pool of money that could allow the re-opening of a lot of branches.

Meanwhile, the seriousness of the matter for library employees is beginning to sink in. Letters have already been received by staff at the Mint Hill library alreting them of their impending cut. Citizens of Mint Hill are not standing idle. The Facebook page “Save the Mint Hill Library” already has 1,100 fans. There is also a Web site devoted to saving the Mint Hill Library.

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Myrick calls health care bill ‘government takeover’

Representative Sue Myrick released this statement on HR 3590, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act:

“For over a year, the American people have told Congress that they don’t want this kind of health care reform, and for over a year, the Majority in Congress has ignored them. So now, as a result of arm twisting and billions of dollars in backroom deals, the Majority scraped together just enough votes to pass one of the most expensive, over-arching, unwanted pieces of legislation in the history of our government. Continue reading

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Mint Hill begins effort to save the library

Inside the children's section of the Mint Hill library.

News of the Mint Hill Library and 11 others within the system closing because of budget shortfalls have sent shock waves throughout the community. E-mails to the Mint Hill Times have called it a “sad day” in Mint Hill. While there is an movement county-wide to raise funds to save libraries,  Mayor Ted Biggers has begun an effort organize the town to voice disapproval to the county board of commissioners and the library board of directors.

A petition has been placed at the Mint Hill Town Hall for citizens to sign to show support for the town’s library. Contact information for the county board of commissioners and the library board of directors will also be available. Biggers is also in the process of organizing a committee that will focus on saving the library. Some of the committee members were a part of the original group that helped bring the library to Mint Hill decades ago.

By the end of the day, the town will have a form-letter available to citizens to send to the county and the library. The letter will be at town hall or can be printed from the town’s Web site.

The Mint Hill library has consistently ranked in the top 10 in the county in circulation despite being one of the smaller libraries in the system.

Donna Rogers, a longtime resident of Mint Hill, summed up it up best.

“Unbelievable! A sad, shameful day to be from Mecklenburg County.”

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Hood column on health care gets shout out from Rush

John Locke Foundation president and Mint Hill Times columnist got some love by Rush Limbaugh today. Hood wrote in a recent Carolina Journal column that he will not comply with health care regulations if they current legislation is passed in Washington. Hood wrote:

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not planning to recognize such a result as legally binding,” Hood writes. “I’m not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress. I will not submit to any extra-constitutional order to dismantle the consumer-driven health plan I have set up for my employees. I will not comply, If the government tries to make me comply, I’ll sue. And I’ll win.”

Here’s what Limbaugh said:

RUSH: You know, there are a lot of people who are starting to say (John Hood is one from the CarolinaJournal.com) if they pass this using the Slaughter solution — in other words, literally shredding the Constitution. If they do this in a lawless way, then he’s not going to comply.  He’s simply not going to comply and he’s urging everybody else not to comply.  We don’t have to comply with illegally passed bills. We don’t have to comply with things which are unconstitutional.  For example, maybe we can just “deem” our tax returns to have been filed.  But we don’t actually file ‘em.  We just “deem” our taxes to have been paid.

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Myrick: ‘Talk about buying a pig in a poke’

From the office of Sue Myrick:

“A majority of the American people don’t want this health care bill, and they’ve been saying it for months. They know it will cost them a half of a trillion dollars in higher taxes, and they know it will result in increased insurance premiums. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that premiums for coverage purchased on the individual market will increase by an average of $2,300 per family! On top of that, thirty two states are moving legislation so that they don’t have to have a federal insurance mandate. State legislators know that this is a bad bill for the economy – why can’t Congress recognize it, too? Continue reading

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