• I Couldn’t Have Said it Better Myself

    Posted on February 5, 2016 by in Politics

    New Central Library Needs to be Priority

    I have recently been criticised for agreeing with Scott Butler’s January 2016 – Guelph Mercury editorial in which he disparages the ‘leadership’ shown by our current Mayor on the issue of supporting the library. Unfortunately,  I believe the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour.

    Let’s look at the facts:

    March 2, 2011

    Moved in Amendment by Councillor Guthrie …
    THAT other than contractual obligations, the Guelph Public Library budget be reduced by $235,600.

    Moved in Amendment by Councillor Guthrie …
    THAT the Library Network Specialist/Engineer in the amount of $74,500 be deleted from the budget.

    Moved in Amendment by Councillor Guthrie …
    THAT the Library Communications & Marketing Coordinator in the amount of $16,500 be deleted from the budget.

    Moved in Amendment by Councillor Guthrie …
    THAT the Library Clerks for the West End, Bullfrog and Scottsdale library branches in the amount of $26,200 each, be deleted from the budget.

    March 3, 2011

    Moved in Amendment by Councillor Guthrie
    That the library late fees be increased by 10% which is approximately $25,000.
    VOTING IN FAVOUR: Councillors Guthrie…

    June 27, 2011

    THAT $46,000 be allocated from the Library Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of continuing the bookmobile service until the end of 2011;
    VOTING AGAINST: Councillor Guthrie (only dissenting vote)

    THAT the Guelph Public Library Board be encouraged to pursue alternative avenues of funding in 2012 for the bookmobile service.
    VOTING AGAINST: Councillor Guthrie (only dissenting vote)

    December 7, 2011

    THAT the Guelph Public Library budget be increased by $55,650.
    VOTING AGAINST: Councillors Guthrie…

    Moved in Amendment by Councillor Guthrie
    THAT the Guelph Public Library budget be reduced by $68,870.
    VOTING IN FAVOUR: Councillors Guthrie…

    Wednesday March 25, 2015

    That $250,000 be added to the library reserves, in the 2015 Capital Budget, to demonstrate Council’s commitment to a new downtown main library.
    VOTING AGAINST: Mayor Guthrie…

    That the Guelph Public Library be funded in 2015 at the 2014 approved budget of $8,209,620 and that the requested increase of $164,215 be deleted from the 2015 operating budget.
    VOTING IN FAVOUR: Mayor Guthrie…

    November 25, 2015

     Downtown Secondary Plan – Baker Street Redevelopment regarding infrastructure needs, funding options, parking, understanding options available in the market, the library as a separate entity, timelines, parking needs, development charges and obstacles preventing the project from advancing.

    Amendment
    That the words “and implement” be removed from the second clause – “That staff be directed to develop and implement a Downtown Implementation Strategy Framework for Council.”
    VOTING IN FAVOUR: Mayor Guthrie…

    December 9, 2015

    That $100,000 be allocated to the library capital reserve fund to match the Friends of Guelph Public Library contribution into the library capital reserve fund.
    VOTING AGAINST: Mayor Guthrie…

    Mayor Guthrie stepped down from the Chair and Councillor Downer assumed the Chair.
    Moved by Mayor Guthrie …
    That $100,000 be removed from the Library Capital Reserve.
    VOTING IN FAVOUR: Mayor Guthrie…

    Media Quotes

    November 25 2013
    Guelph Today
    “I personally don’t feel we need a new library so I’m viewing it that way,” Guthrie said.

    December 02, 2014
    Guelph Mercury
    At an all-candidates meeting at the Village by the Arboretum during the municipal election campaign, you accused library employees of providing bad information to members of the public and called libraries “out-of business video rental stores.” Throughout the election campaign, you repeatedly spoke against the need for a new main branch library.

    June 18 2014
    CTV News – $43M proposal would bring college campus, new library to downtown Guelph
    Not as enthusiastic is Coun. Cam Guthrie, who says the $43 million price tag of that proposal could be better spent elsewhere. “The majority of people do not want, I believe, to be building a multi-million-dollar downtown library at this time,” he tells CTV News.

    June 23 2014

    Guelph Mercury
    Ward 4 Coun. Cam Guthrie told me in a recent conversation about the new Baker District proposal that he thinks councillors need to have a discussion about the supposed need for a new library… Guthrie thinks the existing main library is big enough, especially given that electronic books are the wave of the future. Future libraries will need huge data storage capabilities but they won’t need the physical space to store books anymore. “In my view libraries are like museums…”

    February 16 2015
    Guelph Library Project
    “You already have five different (library) locations in the city, you have a huge library at the University of Guelph, pretty much every public school in town has libraries. I just think that before the city commits to any huge costs associated with a new library, this really heartfelt discussion needs to happen about what is the future of libraries”

    I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if a vote regarding the development of a Central Library EVER reaches council chambers our current Mayor will vote a resounding and final NO.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Alan Pickersgill says:

    Thank you, Councillor Salisbury

  2. Virginia Gillham says:

    Thanks, Mike, for this thoughtful and thoroughly researched piece. It is wearying in the extreme to see the same misconceptions repeated over and over, no matter how many times correct information is put forward. The idea that a modern main library is something we cannot afford is dead wrong. It will be an economic benefactor, not an expense. One need not look far to find enlightened cities and even small towns that have understood that and acted on it. One of the best illustrations is the article about the Halifax Public Library which appear online in the Globe and Mail issue of Nov.6, 2014.

    Thanks so much for your ongoing support of this subject.
    Virginia Gillham


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