Monday, 26 September 2011

Osceola County lays off 16; libraries take biggest hit

"The library positions eliminated in terms of annual salary were valued at $455,091, while the new positions are valued at $175,793.10, for a net savings of $279,298.
Ed Kilroy, former library system director, said he believes cutting all branch managers is a precursor to the county outsourcing the library operations to Maryland-based Library Systems & Services LLC, referred to as LSSI. The county previously had set a deadline of Jan. 1 for a decision on whether to turn the library operation over to a private company in order to save money.
“They are cutting the library system at the knees,” Kilroy said, adding that if the county is headed toward outsourcing, then there hasn't been enough community dialogue on the issue."


  1. That was so true. The community was kept in the dark. Days before the vote they had a Q and A with the public. Most that turned out were against it. But the LSSI reps that came to our county were also known Tea Party activists from Orlando (Orange County). They had some local Tea Party activists there praising the three Republican county Commissioners decision to consider privatizing the libraries. The swing vote that allowed the privatizing to happen was Commissioner Fred Hawkins. He pretended to be on the fence about it but he had $1000 in campaign contributions from the two Tea Party LSSI reps. He stated after he heard from the public he made his decision. Like I stated the majority of the people that turned out were against it. Our libraries have been privatized for over a year now and we need some ammunition to take them back. Our library system was in decent condition the people had just voted to support them with more tax dollars but they chose to lay off and privatize. Another little neat tidbit of Osceola politics is there are far more Democrat then Republican registered voters but Republicans hold the majority of government office. Most feel this is because of our local Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce they are very political involved in Osceola and get tax funding from the dues paid by all the government agencies memberships with the political ingrained private association.

  2. Thanks for this insight Anonymous, it really is distrurbing to see how LSSI operate and their links to the Tea Party and the Republicans and their total disregard for local democracy and public accountability. they haven't as yet signed a contract in the UK but they are still trying, but don't you worry we'll fight them every step of the way :-)