Writog

Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2017 Luke T. Bush

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Blindsided


The bad news usually comes down through the channels at work: There might be layoffs.

But hearing the bad news initially through a newspaper article has some employees at the Plattsburgh Public Library upset. While they were aware that PPL was facing budget problems, they say they were completely left in the dark about the possible need to cut staff until they read it in a Press-Republican article.

Published online on December 2nd and then in print on December 3rd, the article discussed the retirement plans of PPL Director Stan Ransom and projects being completed at the library. ("City library director to retire" by Joe LoTemplio)

Some readers glancing at the article might not finish reading it, thinking that it was another story of a public servant looking back at his accomplishments before retirement. But towards the end of the piece, under the subhead JOB CUTS POSSIBLE, there is this statement:

"The Library Board is considering cutting six positions: two librarians, two clerks and two pages to make up the $150,000 shortfall."

This newsworthy detail rated its own article, at least a sidebar.

One commenter at the PR website, Natasha237, observed:

"Very sneaky.... Hide the part about cutting 33% of the library staff (and, therefore, services) in the next-to-last paragraph so NO ONE notices and NO ONE attends the personnel meeting on Monday. For shame, Press Republican! That is a CHEAP TACTIC!"

But someone did read the whole article and it didn't take long for the bad news to spread, especially through online channels. Getting the news that way has left some library employees feeling angry and betrayed. I heard the term "underhanded" used to describe how the situation was handled.

As one PPL employee observed online:

"We didn't even have a heads up on this one! We sat in all staff meeting yesterday and there was no mention of 6 of us being axed! We found out by reading the newspaper!"

The Library Board is holding a special meeting about the issue of axing jobs at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5th, but not at City Hall. The meeting will be held at the Clinton County Personnel Department on Margaret Street in its second-floor conference room.

Library supporters plan to rally before the meeting.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the outrage? It's as if employees of the PPL are surprised that this city government would take the cowardly route! They have over the past 10 years urged the local radio lynch mob leader to denigrate the library, threatened the staff with closure on a number of occasions, and generally neglected the physical infrastructure to such a degree that leaking ceilings and rotting staircases are everyday elements. Now someone is clueless about being blindsided?

1:11 PM  
Blogger Kelly Sexton said...

Thank you, Luke! We at the library appreciate your efforts!

2:48 PM  

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