ONE OF the larger issues facing the mayor and council this year will be dealing with the Terrace Public Library’s request for more money.
The issue popped up during last November’s municipal election and was presented as a matter of fairness – how could the city provide raises to its own employees yet not provide enough money for raises for library employees?
With the exception of incumbent city councillor Brian Downie who correctly said the matter is one for council debate as it sets its 2012 budget later this year (and who was re-elected) and first-time candidate Tyson Hull who characterized the library as a cost item (and who was not elected) other candidates sidestepped the financial aspects, preferring instead to stick to the obvious value the facility has to the city and to the region.
That kind of sentiment is fine as it goes but now it will be tested as the library’s finances are placed against the many other monetary issues the city council will face as it sets its 2012 spending and tax plan.
Library supporters should prepare themselves to undertake an extensive lobbying campaign.
And they should also remember the City of Terrace is not the only local financing authority.
The Kitimat-Stikine regional district, through a specific benefitting area tax, also provides money.
It must also play a role in any decision making regarding the library.