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FREE PUBLIC LIBRARIES ARE A CORNERSTONE OF OUR SOCIETY

County Executive Joel Giambra is lacking a basic understanding of the United States of America. I thought everyone in public office already knew this, but here it is: Free public libraries are a cornerstone of society. Shutting down libraries, which remained open during the Great Depression -- talk about a budget crisis -- is no less offensive than shutting down all of our places of worship in order to get those buildings on the tax rolls.

Giambra is faced with a budget crisis due to rising Medicaid costs. Many of us are faced with similar budget crises due to rising fuel costs and a faltering economy. Looking over past county tax bills, I'd say that Giambra knew about this Medicaid issue for a couple of years. Yet he prepared for this by cutting taxes, and today we have a crisis. Rising Medicaid costs are definitely the cause, but Giambra is responsible for the budget.

Jean Loughran

Cheektowaga

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