The Annoyed Librarian doesn't think she'd like to live in New Jersey.
This is the state, after all, where the government shut down for several days recently over a budget impasse because apparently no one in the state government can do basic math or understand politics. Turns out if a government spends more money than it takes from its citizens, it has to take more money, because governments can't reduce spending. That's a proven impossibility.
According to the papers, the governor promised he wouldn't raise any taxes if elected, and a bunch of idiots in New Jersey voted for him. And then he raised the budget and wanted to raise taxes to pay for it. Apparently even his fellow Democrats balked. Probably most of those New Jersey folks just like really high taxes, though. Takes all kinds to make a world, as my mama used to say. [Update: this is the same governor who later spent 2 weeks in the hospital after his SUV crashed at 91mph while he wasn't wearing his seat belt.]
Which brings me to the subject of New Jersey and tax money shenanigans. This one has got to be a new low, at least for libraries. (Well, people could probably suggest some lower lows, but this is pretty low, if you ask me.) And this time it's not something being done by librarians, my usual topic of discussion, but something being done to them.
Upper Saddle River, NJ, funds a public library, of course. Upper Saddle River also owns the building the library inhabits. Now, though, the town council is going to charge rent to the library. $15,000/month! Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul!
Apparently Upper Saddle River's priority is to spend, spend, spend, and they're fresh out of other people's money. There are certainly things more important than the public library--police protection and garbage collection spring to mind--but I'm betting the money is just going to cover the many unnecessary expenses the government undoubtedly has, and probably a lot of stuff that's considerably less important than library services. Maybe the money is going to that Soprano guy. Who knows? Anyway, now they have to engage in a little fiscal legerdemain.
And how are they going to collect this "rent"? They're just going to deduct if from the money already mandated for the library. Wait, how can they do that? Doesn't "mandated" mean they have to give the money to the library? Turns out it does, so they can't just, say, lower the amount of money they give to the library budget. See, that would be illegal. And those Upper Saddle River council buffoons don't want to do anything illegal. Public officials in New Jersey just don't do illegal things!
So they have to give the money to the library before taking it back, sort of, or at least claim to give it to them before taking it back, or make it look like they might be giving them some money except for the money they would give them if they were going to give them more money than they wanted to. Or something like that. (Reminds me of the old joke about asking an accountant "what is 2+2." "What do you want it to be?") See, they have to lower the library budget without calling it lowering the library budget. That would be too honest, or in this case, dishonest. It would be too honest about their dishonesty. That's what I mean. Now the library funded by USRNJ will be charged "rent" on a building owned by USRNJ. That makes a lot more sense. Very clever solution, boys!
The library system director has promised a fight. I think it's a fight he's going to lose, based on the latest news from New Jersey.