March 17, 1995


TO:                  Mount Rainier  Area Residents


FROM: Fred Sissine, Mayor (927-2125)


RE:                   Mount Rainier Library and County Budget Crisis


            I am asking for your immediate help with a county  budget threat to the Mount Rainier Public Library.  Although the Library building is owned and maintained by the City, the county provides the staff (Mr. Brooks and other part-time employees) at a cost of about $50,000 per year.   As you may know, due to the large county budget deficit projected for fiscal year 1996 starting in July, County Executive Wayne Curry has proposed a number of budget cuts, including a proposal to cut $2.5 million (about 17%) from the $15 million budget for the county's public library system.  The library system was already cut to a "bare-bones" budget during the county budget problems caused by the recession during the early 1990s.  This means that the cuts proposed now would be especially severe.  Of the 20 branch libraries in the county system, 14 have been identified for budget cuts.  The Mount Rainier Library is one of these 14.  Specifically,  the County Executive is proposing to close-down 6 of the 14 libraries.  No one knows which of the 14 will selected into this group of 6 for elimination.


            Late this afternoon, I learned about a rally to support the county libraries' budget that will be held at 10 a.m.,  Monday morning, March 20 at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.  To support our library at this rally, I am asking your help in circulating and signing petitions that oppose the budget cuts for the Mount Rainier Library.  The signatures that we collect will be presented on behalf of our library.  We also need Mount Rainier residents to show "grassroots" opposition to the budget cuts by having local residents attend the rally.  Finally, we need help creating a big sign (or signs) that say "Mount Rainier Library," for use at the rally.  The petitions must be returned to my house at 4012 33rd Street by midnight Sunday.  The signs must also be ready by then.


            I am pleased to announce the formation of the "Friends of  the Mount Rainier Library," a new community organization dedicated to supporting our Library.  The immediate purpose of this group is to help with the effort to oppose the county budget cuts.  Two outstanding residents have volunteered to be temporary co-coordinators of the Friends of the Mount Rainier Library.  They are:


(1) Joan Van Blake, 4511 30th Street, 779-4525

(2) Alden Almquist, 3204 Taylor Street, 779-1656


You may call them or me for more information about how you can help with preparations for the rally and to volunteer to become a member of the Friends of the Library.


We need your help!