Budget Fail

"I'm shocked, SHOCKED to find that gambling is going on in here!"

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Albany-library-budget-trails-138...

The little mister laid that one on me early in the morning. I am morbidly intrigued by Albany Public HeLl since they so continuously take the wrong decision it runs close to statistically impossible. Library school students, take note! Don't do what these guys do!

The largest problem is that there is little to no rotation at the Board level. Despite having left upstate New York years back, were I to attend a meeting there would only be a couple of faces I didn't recognise. This in and of itself would not be terrible if there were a decent Director in living memory. Edgar Tompkins anyone? Psst, there are a few good candidates still slaving away on your staff. Try one of them next go round. They have a vested community interest and a good eye for the problematique. At least do a shotgun google search before hiring someone. Promoting from within is not a communicable disease.

Okay, okay, we can muddle on another year or two with terrible leadership. At least the mission statement now sounds like it ought to.

Sorry? What? Oh, you planned a budget vote at the end of the life of your long range plan. Oh dear.

Yeah, this effectively will make voters think that you had no plan B. As the sole factor, it probably wouldn't matter. In the midst of a deep recession, and thrown in the mix with poor leadership, one sees why the rats have long since left.

Gee, I'm sure glad we took the elitist tack and appealed to wealthy voters by renovating the branches before the Main Branch. What's that? They weren't terribly appreciative when we sold off their traditional locations for properties a friend of a friend had at a *wink wink nudge nudge* price?

The worst part of this entire scenario is that the bad decisions of an ex director continue to haunt them. His testosterone got him into the poor graces of the Mayor. The Mayor withdrew support at a key time, resulting in an initial budget referendum that was insufficient to meet the plans in the works. Had that director listened to one of the preeminent consultants in the field, literally none of this would have ever happened. If Nolan Lushington will work for you folks, for the love of the gods, listen to his advice.

Even if you put on a stiff upper lip about the initial underfunding, and pulled yourself up by the bootstraps of the eventuality of having a million dollars a branch, one might quickly arrive at the conclusion that a million a branch should be doable. It is. Motley Fool would tsc at living below one's means. What's that? We made cuts?

I suppose. If we want to cut the most popular programming while leaving the fat of an endless parade of administrative staff that frankly do not need to be there, then yes, congratulations, you've made cuts. I can't imagine why folks are irritated in increasing numbers each year at referendum time.