Here at The Commons Foundation we are sheltering in place, wearing facemasks when we are out, and Zooming to almost everything. We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. Without a doubt, closing down of society to fight a pandemic reminds us of how much we all value community, shared public spaces and humanity.
The City of Larkspur, the Larkspur Library and the City Parks and Recreation Department have largely been closed since March 17. The Library has limited programming available on-line and is still evaluating how and when to open safely. Franklin Escobedo and his staff have been working from their homes and trying to rebuild programs to address all of the communities that rely on our library.
The Commons Foundation has recruited our fundraising Champions for Leadership Gifts fundraising. We are waiting for the shelter in place orders to lift so we can restart person to person meetings to build financial support for the new library. The economic downturn will impact what funds can be raised and we will keep you posted as our plans are refined.
We have also been coordinating with the Friends of the Library and the Library to plan for Annual Fund fundraising to support this summer’s programs and the needs of the library in the new fiscal year. It is critically important that we in the private sector step up our support for the public library during this economic recession.
Changes in Government Finances
In recent City Council online meetings we have heard that the City is expecting a significant decrease in tax revenue next fiscal year starting July 1. The City will discuss on May 6 the $600,000 Zimmer Endowment they hold for Library services. Under the circumstances it would not be a surprise if the City decides to reduce current library spending for next year, and revise their plans to invest in the new library building.
When one door closes another opens. Our goal remains to fund, build and sustain a new modern library for the communities of Larkspur, Greenbrae and Kentfield. How we get there remains to be determined. Undaunted, we believe the need has never been greater and the awareness of what is lost when you do not have an open library and shared community spaces will help us in the end.
What you can do
First of all, remain safe and follow the public health directives. Second, please attend the online City Council meetings in May and June to hear about the City’s budget. Advocate for support of the existing library budget and building a new library.
• To see the May 6 agenda: https://www.ci.larkspur.ca.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2429
• To join the May 6 meeting: http://www.cityoflarkspur.org/jointhemeeting
Finally, keep your mind and heart open to what we can accomplish during this pandemic and recession.