FAIRFIELD REPUBLICAN RTM CAUCUS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTS THE PEQUOT LIBRARY’S APPEAL TO RESTORE FUNDING
Fairfield and Southport, CT—April 18, 2013—The RTM Republican Caucus today announced its full support for the Pequot Library’s appeal to restore funding that will take place at the April 22, 2013 RTM meeting.
The Pequot Library, located in the Southport section of Town, openly welcomes and serves all Fairfield residents as a de facto branch of our public library system and a cultural center for our Town. It is funded through both public and private contributions, and there is no fee to borrow its resources. As a community partner, the Pequot Library has historically been allocated $350k from the Town of Fairfield’s annual budget to support a third of its yearly operating budget. The Pequot Library is financially responsible for the maintenance of its buildings and grounds.
On April 2, 2013, five members of the Board of Finance (“BOF”) voted to completely defund the Pequot Library despite pleas from Pequot’s Executive Director Martha Lord and Town officials that this action would most likely result in the Library’s closure.
“In difficult times, it’s more than appropriate to question the relationship between our Town and the not-for-profit partners we support,” said RTM Majority Leader Joe Palmer. “These not-for-profit organizations should feel the same pressures and be asked the same tough questions that we ask other Town departments. To single out one entity, however, and essentially force them to close their doors, is unfair and overreaching. The partnership between Fairfield and the Pequot Library has been successful for generations and to sever it during the heat of the budget is unacceptable.”
“For every $1 Pequot receives from the Town it raises over $2 from private sources,” said Michael Herley, Chairman of the RTM’s Public Health and Safety Committee whose RTM District One includes Pequot Library. “Simply put, at $350k per year, our allocation to Pequot is a fraction of what it costs to run a typical library, making Pequot one of the best bargains around for taxpayers.”