State Representative Michael Brady spoke today at the Government Affairs Meeting of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce. As he described the fiscal challenges facing the City of Champions, the Commonwealth and the Nation, he spoke at length about the importance of the Brockton Public Library to the community and to the economic recovery. He told of his predecessor, then-Representative and now Senator Thomas P. Kennedy, leading several busloads of library supporters on a trip to Beacon Hill to protest, and ultimately overturn, a veto of promised library funds, followed by a community-wide effort to keep the library open, and then to renovate it and expand it to its current glory. Representative Brady spoke of the huge number of city residents who do not have computers of their own at home, and depend on the library to access the information highway, prepare resumes and improve their lives. He told of the many meetings of community organizations hosted by the library, including the October Gateway Cities Caucus tour of Brockton which was followed by a roundtable discussion - at the library - organized by fellow Representative Christine Canavan.
City Council President Timothy Cruise then spoke of the initiatives proposed by Mayor Harrington to deal with mid-year cuts to this year's State Aid to the City and prepare for additional cuts in Fiscal Year 2010. The City leadership is meeting with municipal unions to see if concessions such as increasing employees' share of health insurance costs can save enough money to avoid layoffs. While emphasizing the dire need to avoid the loss of public safety personnel, the City Council President joined Representative Brady in recognizing the Brockton Public Library as an important component of the City of Brockton.