December 16, 2010

Cafarella Plan To Slash NF Library Funds Nixed

People who know me have often said that I'm too analytical. They're probably right, but I'll need some time to thoroughly scrutinize that statement. Nevertheless, I do try to look for the little things that often get overlooked in a bigger picture.

Take for instance yesterday's piece in the Union Sun. Now, I didn't watch the recent county legislature meeting at which they voted on the 2011 budget, so I can only go by the media reports. In the US&J report, Joyce Miles did an excellent job of encapsulating the key components of the budget debate and its subsequent vote.

What caught my eye was the debate about funding literacy training for the Niagara Falls Library through NIOGA. Granted this is a minuscule portion of the $310 million budget, but it's worth noting that Niagara Falls Legislator Jason Cafarella sought a 5% reduction in that line item.

Now, we've repeatedly written about the woes of Niagara Falls. Poverty is sky high and unemployment is even higher. Much of the city's woes can be directly attributed to the fact that a significant portion of the city is uneducated, or simply put, illiterate. The last thing the city needs is a reduction in programs that can help people find jobs. The fact that this budget cut recommendation came from a legislator elected to represent the people of Niagara Falls is pretty astounding.

Personally, I don't get the logic. I've tried to evaluate the move from every possible perspective, and I'm not seeing it. It's certainly not politically prudent for Cafarella to advocate cutting literacy programs in a community as downtrodden as Niagara Falls. If there's some logical rationale behind the move, I'd love for someone to enlighten me as to what it is. Then again, maybe I'm just being overly analytical.

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