Scenes From the Recession in North Las Vegas, Pt. 1

A lot of public services are being cut around the country, I’m sure, as municipalities run out of money.  However, I think we in North Las Vegas have a uniquely extreme situation.

Everyone knows that this has been the hardest hit area in the whole country–last month, in an unprecedented move to slow the financial hemorrhaging, our city council declared a state of emergency.

As debates continue about union contracts, recreation centers, and public services in general, one desperate act by local leaders has hit my family especially close to home.

They cut the library’s hours.

This is really only a minor inconvenience, sure, and other library districts have cut their hours, also, but the result here seems acutely sad to me, and not just because my family loves the library so much.

North Las Vegas has three library branches.  Two of them are now open only five days a week; each of those branches is only open 47 hours each week now.  Let me put it this way: a single person could easily work every hour their place of business is open.  Imagine that.

But the third branch–the one closest to my home–is only open four days a week.  To phrase that differently, we are at a point where a major metropolitan library branch is only able to function just barely more than half a week.  It’s only open for 37 hours every seven days.

That’s a part-time job.

You may or may not care about the library, but any foundational institution being reduced to this is a crying shame.

4 comments on “Scenes From the Recession in North Las Vegas, Pt. 1

  1. If I have a cancerous, fast-growing tumour, would you say you have cured the cancer if you killed me? Sometimes the cure can kill you more swiftly and certainly than the disease.

  2. Why are local governments running out of money? 1) The federal government is no longer sharing revenue since it is using for illegal, unnecessary and immoral wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and for repression of dissent here at home.

    What is the solution? Obviously further cutbacks in government spending are only going to make things worse, so the solution is increases in tax revenue and massive redirection of spending from war, spying and repression toward funding that has a positive effect on the lives of citizens.

    • Painfully obvious, and painfully impossible. Go ahead and try talking sense to Congress. They’re so deep in special interest pockets, regardless of party, that major changes are not forthcoming, however you frame it.

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