Help us STOP outsourcing of our Escondido Library- There is still time

If you support our Library
Mayor Abed, Gallo, Masson need to hear from you  
Last week, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and Councilmembers Ed Gallo and John Masson voted to move
forward to outsource operations of the Escondido Public Library to the private,
for-profit, out-of-state corporation Library Systems and
Services (LS&S) which specializes in taking over failing libraries. But,
ours isn’t failing. 
We are proud
of our library and its great staff and programs. Outsourcing would spell
the end of our library as we know it.
Please
join the 3,000

residents already opposing outsourcing the library because: 
·    We would lose local control of an important
city resource.
·    Our local tax $$ would go to a corporate
organization in Maryland, not stay here in our community.
·    The cost-benefit analysis did not correctly
assess all impacts.
·    No alternatives (there are many) were
publicly evaluated so that the best option could be selected.
·    This action will further divide the
community and erode support for a bond for a new library.
·    This action will cause a loss of
volunteers, donations, and skilled library personnel.
·    Outsourcing of our library is opposed by
the Escondido Library Board of Trustees, Library Foundation, and American
Library Association
Our library is more
than a building
;
it is the programs and people
who make it the soul of the community. We need to preserve our library as a
true community resource, responsive to the needs of our residents. Although Council
took one vote (3-2) to move forward, a contract has not yet been signed. Please
speak out and stand up for our librarians, patrons, and library programs.  There
is still time!
   
WE NEED TO ACT NOW!
CONTACT Mayor Sam Abed, Ed Gallo, and John
Masson
.
Email or call Mayor’s Office: 760-839-4610 , City Council’s Office: 760-839-4638
Email them all
at once using this link:  
https://www.escondido.org/city-council-contact-us.aspx   or send a letter to 201 North Broadway,
Escondido, CA 92025
Ask them to:
1.      
Stop the LS&S contract process.
2.     
Solicit, evaluate, and consider, at a minimum,
proposals from the current library department and county through a public
process.
3.     
Impanel a Budget Committee to develop a
comprehensive, sustainable plan to address the pension crisis and the paydown
of pension liability
CONTACT LS&S and ask them to withdraw
their proposal and step away from our library. 
President Paul Colangelo at 800-638-8725 Paul.Colangelo@lsslibraries.com
Ed
Garnett, Vice President, Business Development,
Ed.Garnett@lsslibraries.com
2600
Tower Oaks Blvd., Rockville, MD 20852, Office: 301.540.5100 Cell: 410.598.2921
 
SHOW YOUR LOVE To our wonderful current
library staff.  Email jaxelrod@escondido.org  
TALK to your friends and neighbors.  Help Save our Library services!  
SIGN UP Email us at SaveEscondidoLibrary@gmail.com

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ENU letter to Mayor and Council to OPPOSE library outsourcing

Today, members of Escondido Neighbors United filed a letter to urge opposition to outsourcing our public library.   ENU comment letter to City Council on Library Outsourcing

Everyone is encouraged to communicate your thoughts with the Escondido Mayor and Council on this important topic.  You can file an email to them here .

Library Trustees agree with public, Vote unanimously to oppose outsourcing our library

Sporting library heart badges, over 150 residents were on-hand as the Board of Library Trustees voted unanimously to oppose the outsourcing
of the Escondido Library
.


Citing
concerns about loss of transparency, accountability, volunteer support, and
community cohesion speaker after speaker urged the Trustees to save the library
and recommend against outsourcing.  A frequent
theme of the commenters was a lack of trust and confidence in the current
Council majority when it comes to libraries. It was very apparent the
Council closing of the East Valley Branch is still an open wound for Escondido
residents.  At the end of the meeting the Trustees voted unanimously to oppose outsourcing and the audience burst into cheers!

Media Release


This is
a significant victory for Save Our Escondido Library Coalition who have worked
tirelessly since the first heard about this threat to our library last month
, but the fight is not over!  The City council still has to vote on this.  Please join the Save Our Escondido Library Coalition at the next City Council meeting on August 16th.  A rally in front of City Hall will be held at 3:30 and residents are invited to speak to the Council directly on public comment at 4:30.


Please
email Liz White at
liz_white@me.com to be added to the Save the Escondido Library Coalition
information list.  You can also visit
On
the Issue Escondido Indivisible

Please help save our Escondido Library! Attend meeting Tuesday, August 8th, 2PM Escondido Library

The library Trustee meeting tomorrow is critical.  Media Advisory for August 8 meeting, 2 PM Escondido Library  The two quotes below are important to understanding the unintended consequences if the Mayor and his supporters on the Council take this action.  Please let them know we do not want to degrade our community by outsourcing our last remaining library.

See info below.  Bring a 8 x 11 sign.  Also, please mark your calendars for August 16th when the Council may be making the final decision.

Coalition to stand against outsourcing at Library Trustee Board
Tuesday, August 8, 2 PM at the Escondido Library

Residents say degrading our library
degrades our city


Escondido, CA:  On
Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 2 PM at the Escondido Library, residents will
urge the Mayor-appointed Board of Trustees to recommend against privatization
of our library services. The Coalition now has 100s of members and is
collecting signatures on two petitions opposing the outsourcing proposal.   
Library volunteer Virginia Abushanab
warned One thing
I don’t think the City Council has considered is the value of the volunteers
that they are about to lose.  As a long-time volunteer, I can guarantee
that I, and all the volunteers I’ve spoken with, are not going to offer our
free services to a company who will increase their bottom line from them. 
Are the members aware that there are 213 active volunteers on the roster and in
June alone of this year they gave a total of 2407 hours? What a
coincidence, it comes almost exactly to the $400,000 Mr Epp says will be
saved. 
Debbie Resler, a frequent library
user said “A
library is an essential resource. One reason I value this community is our
public library.  We’ve already lost one Escondido library – we need to
make sure that the remaining one is focused on meeting the needs of our local
community, and not maximizing revenue for a private, for-profit company.
Librarian Whitney McCoy, MLIS
candidate, will present her findings on the past record of Library Systems
& Services (LS&S) the company proposed to take over the library receiving
$2.4 million annual payments from the city.
Attendees will be carrying signs and
the petition drive continues outside of the library.  The petitions have
over 800 signatures opposed to privatization in the first week of collection.  Members will be on hand to speak to the media.


About Save Our Escondido Library
Coalition:
The coalition was formed by local Escondido community groups and local
residents in response to the City of Escondido’s move to consider privatization
of the Escondido Public Library. The coalition seeks to educate themselves and
the public and to provide a conduit for Escondido residents to voice their
concerns.

A Big THANK YOU to Supervisor Kristin Gaspar: Helping protect Felicita Park’s habitat from invasive plants

Great news for Felicita Park!  Today, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar helped us take an important step to ridding Felicita Creek with invasive palm trees!

As part of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program which provides funding for essential services to citizens of San Diego County, Supervisor Gaspar dedicated $15,000 to complete the
removal of invasive palm trees at Felicita Park.

This is an important action and welcome news.  The palm trees in the park worsen erosion significantly and spread their invasive seeds widely in the Park’s habitat.  They contaminate Felicita Park, Creek, downstream neighborhoods, and Lake Hodges.

In some cases, the palms have displaced important native trees like oaks, willows, and sycamores.  In other areas, they grow up through the branches of our elder oaks and can pull them down.

None of the palms in Felicita Park are native to the area and need to be removed for the health of the habitat, trees, and to reduce impacts on the creek.

Escondido Neighbors United is grateful for Supervisor Gaspar’s ‘take action’ attitude and we are looking forward to continued work together for the benefit of our region.