Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Government by Ox-Goring

Recent fallout from the County budget for the next FY would be funny if it weren't so sad. For me it started when (another) former friend thought to include me in plea to help save funds to keep our public libraries open and fully staffed. She wanted us to write to our County Council representatives and express shock and dismay that they would let a little thing like a budget dictate which services can and cannot be funded.

After noticing at least one Anne Arundel County Public School system domain among the e-mail addresses, I knew my response would be easy. The gist was,"You are writing to the wrong people. You should address your concerns to the Teachers Unions of this county because it is they who are in control of the County budget despite what the Charter says." I was referring to the "extra" $13 million the Union extorted from county taxpayers. Call me crazy but I just assumed that some of that money was "found" in the public library budget.

So here we have another panicked parent who faced not only the loss of her son's "favorite" teacher but also of her own job at the library. Was she one of panicky few demanding that the Council save the teachers? Probably. Did it occur to her that by saving the teachers she was dooming her own job? Probably not. And that is the sad part.

Since my short "debate" with her I have read letter after letter in the Annapolis Kapital crying about the inequity of funding the teachers union at the expense of the Libraries. The last one I read was from the chairman of the library association (I guess that's the union) itself!

Now, what moral, what lesson can we draw from all of this? You tell me.

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