Letter to the Editor: Profit vs. mission
December 3, 2009
Ad Hoc and Oversight committees will soon explore alternatives to privatizing library management in Nevada County, which could involve temporary service cutbacks, union negotiations for conditional wage and benefit reductions, a vote to increase sales tax revenue, an increase in volunteer help (apparently to decrease if management privatizes), and m ore.
In June 09, the county CEO was charged with exploring all such options, yet his October proposal to privatize management was, according to some attendees, hardly mentioned in meetings since June.
Before bids had even been received, and so he proposed, and#8220;converting the delivery of service to a contractor ASAP to avoid service reduction.and#8221;
Inevitably, a private corporation’s interest in profit would compete with the library’s interest in serving the public. In such a conflict, which interest do you think a corporation would favor?
Having a for-profit management would be a fundamental change to a traditional public institution. The reason to privatize, therefore, must be a compelling one, taking more than just dollars into account. The review committees and#8212; whose meetings should be public and#8212; should be very wary of County and LSSI claims.
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