Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Politicians' strategy: Librarians go SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH?

If you believe some of the Internet chatter, deciding on Ohio's state budget has turned to the political game-playing part.

Maybe even dirty game-playing.

Over at Save Ohio Libraries, two posters call for library supporters to be even more vocal this week, arguing that the seven-day temporary budget is just a way to calm people down in hopes that the library rally quiets down. Greg Jones of Blacks 4 Barack espouses this theory. Johnathon of the newly created and quite fantastic Mid-Coast Perspective agrees with Greg, calling the delay "par for the course" on the Save Ohio Libraries blog.

Another poster on Save Ohio Libraries posted the following:

This afternoon I called Gov. Strickland’s office and his secretary informed me that they were keeping track of the number of calls AND the county of residence of the callers concerned about the Ohio Library Fund cuts. Strickland believes in the Ohio political philosophy that the difference in statewide races for Democrats is made in rural opinions rather than urban turnout; thus he will not be swayed by only receiving calls exclusively from urban counties. So, if you are in or if you know anyone that lives in SE or central Ohio rural counties, please ask them to contact Gov. Strickland and let their voice be heard.

The one-week temporary budget passed the House 94-2, with Lakewood Democrat Michael Skindell and Napoleon Republican Lynn Wachtmann the two. Skindell was quoted in The Plain Dealer as saying the temporary budget "offers despair, not hope." Wachtmann, a library supporter, is on record as offering a solution for the proposed budget cuts -- a 5 to 7% across-the-board budget reduction for all state departments.

It's been fairly quiet this week on the library front. Perhaps we think our work is done. Right now it appears that the main stumbling block is Gov. Strickland's slots proposal. Another temporary budget extension is in play.

Gov. Strickland's Facebook page has quieted down, with only 14 posts since Tuesday morning. Perhaps Greg Jones and Jonathan are right. Maybe the strategy is delay things so library supporters go away. The Ohio Library Council's latest update on the situation is from two days ago. It states in part:

The OLC is working very closely with the legislature and the Governor's office on the library funding issue. Depending on the progress of the budget negotiations, libraries may need to re-energize their efforts to mobilize patrons.

Here's predicting we hear that call from OLC.


  1. Think about this as anything else in life, if you started a project that effected your entire life, would you just hand it off to someone you barely know and trust them to get the job done? Or would you be watching them every step of the way, prodding them and checking their work, making sure they don't screw up? I know I don't do that.

    (btw, It's Johnathon, "on" not "an")

  2. lol I screwed up his name at both ends! Sorry, Johnathon!