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Final Budget Hearing
– September 18

On September 4, the Board of County Commissioners voted 9 to 4 in favor of a tax rate that will support a $54 million library budget. The second and final voting for the County’s 2014-2015 Budget is on September 18 when it is hoped that our commissioners will adopt the library’s budget at the same rate. A 9 to 4 vote means that the vote is veto-proof. But more than that, after four years of budget cuts, it speaks volumes about the importance of the Miami-Dade Public Library System to this uniquely vibrant community we call home. We want to thank the nine commissioners who voted in favor of the millage increase. They are Commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Lynda Bell, Audrey Edmonson, Sally Heyman, Barbara Jordan, Jean Monestime, Dennis Moss, Rebeca Sosa, and Xavier Suarez. The Friends also want to thank the thousands of community supporters for their unrelenting advocacy efforts. You spoke and you were heard.

A New Beginning

In addition to our elected officials, and our many library advocates, we want to thank the entire library staff for being the important champions of literacy, culture and 21st century technology that they are. They are the ones who, years ago, were in the forefront of making computers and the Internet available for free. They conduct computer classes. They bring cultural exhibits from other countries. They work on literacy skills with people of all ages. Moving forward, we can all rest assured that new and exciting innovative changes will come when placed in the hands of these talented people and the many partnerships that have been created during a very challenging time. The library will evolve and continue to be one of the great cornerstones of democracy. A $54 million budget does not restore many of the services that were lost during the four years of reductions but certainly it is the first step toward building the invaluable library of the future.