Residents plead for libraries

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, May 18, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—Six people spoke on behalf of libraries during the public hearing on the Isle of Wight County’s proposed $96.7 million budget next fiscal year.

“I ask the board to continue to fund the Blackwater Regional Library to the greatest extent possible,” said Nell Cyr of Windsor.

In addition to pointing out the many programs the library system offers, Cyr said, “Children who love to read do so their entire lives.”

Other comments came from Gretchen Atkins, Frank Wells and even Library Director Yvonne Hilliard-Bradley, all urging monetary support for the system.

Sharolyn Harris added that cutting funds to the library could mean cuts in jobs, hours and services, not just for children but also seniors.

“Think hard before cutting the library,” Harris said.

In other board matters:

* “I don’t think it’s right. It’s outrageous,” said Cathy Daughtrey about the proposed $72 stormwater utility fee. “I live on disability and I’d miss $72.”

She was the only person to protest the issue during the public hearing. The money would pay for efforts to meet state and federal mandates regarding clean water.

“It’s not optional,” Smithfield Supervisor Al Casteen said.

Daughtrey was also quite vocal at an information session held several weeks ago in Carrsville, where she lives.

The board unanimously voted for it.

* Christina Berta, chief financial officer for the schools, asked for $608,771 to finish the school year. Supervisor Chairwoman JoAnn Hall asked the decision be deferred to the next budget work session, which begins at 10 a.m. Monday, May 20, in the courtroom.

* During earlier public comment, Ed Easter commended Eddie Wrightson, director of General Services, for his service.

Wrightson has announced his retirement at the end of this fiscal year, June 30.