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$2.3M Detroit library project a symbol of waste amid budget crisis, Seriously go look at the chairs..
How do these sons of bitches keep their jobs?? how??
Detroit —Detroit Public Library officials say finances have grown so bad they could close most neighborhood branches, but in a few weeks plan to unveil a revamped wing of a main library that even administrators say spares few expenses.
The South Wing is stocked with 20 yellow and orange European lounge chairs that cost $1,092 apiece, artistic pendant light fixtures and two alcohol-burning fireplaces. The project morphed from a $300,000 furniture update to a $2.3 million overhaul with new floors, study rooms, lighting and built-in, wood-framed book shelves.
"$1,100 per chair is reckless spending for a public institution," said Todd Kelly, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1259, which represents 125 workers, including clerks, janitors and security staffers.
"It would be easier to swallow the current situation if we didn't see things like that."
It's not the only spending to come under question as the system considers closing up to 18 of 23 branches and laying off as many as 191 of 333 workers. A Detroit News review showed that, since 2008, the library has paid at least $160,000 to food vendors, including $1,760 at an ice-cream shop, and spent $1 million on 6 percent raises to union workers at a time counterparts in City Hall took 10 percent pay cuts.
Executive Director Jo Anne Mondowney agreed the South Wing renovation was costly and that too much has been spent on food. But she said she's only been on the job for about 19 months and isn't responsible for much of the spending.
Construction was approved by the library board the same month she started the job, but commission minutes show that the $624,000 contract for furniture and shelving was approved under her watch in May 2010. Mondowney said she didn't know who approved the chairs, which will be used by patrons, and that her staff tried unsuccessfully to return them.
"We are looking carefully and monitoring all of our expenses and revenues," said Mondowney, who also said she's cut down on food spending.
"There were some things we couldn't undo. The tiger was out of the house. I have focused staff to become
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110422/METRO/104220381/Critics--$2.3M-Detroit-library-project-a-symbol-of-waste-amid-budget-crisis#ixzz1KGkmLGvu
“Are vital U.S. interests more imperiled by what happens in Iraq where were have 50,000 troops, or Afghanistan where we have 100,000, or South Korea where we have 28,000 -- or by what is happening on our border with Mexico?...What does it profit America if we save Anbar and lose Arizona?”
I believe Ebay might have a surplus of a certain type of chair being sold very soon.