Ventura County Sends Layoff Notices, Cuts Hours
Facing the loss of half of its state revenue, the Ventura County (Calif.) Library has sent layoff notices to 27 staffers and plans to cut hours at three of its branches.
Library Director Starrett Kreissman said the notices went out in mid-January to 10 of the system’s part-time staffers and all 27 of its “on-call” workers who fill in at the library without having set hours. The service cuts will take effect February 17 at the Ojai, Port Hueneme, and Ventura branches; a total of 31 hours will be eliminated at the three facilities. The Fillmore branch had also been set for cuts, but the city council voted to provide additional funds to retain current service levels; Kreissman said two of the other towns have scheduled similar votes.
Kreissman told American Libraries the county had lost $200,000 from the state Public Library Fund, which had been budgeted at $403,000 for this year—a figure that was already down from $680,000 last year. The budget proposed by Gov. Gray Davis January 10 would also eliminate funds the state has given cities to compensate for reduced vehicle-licensing fees, which Davis slashed by two-thirds in 1998; Kreissman told the January 21 Ventura County Star the library had expected to receive $600,000 from those funds.
Posted January 27, 2003.