Mayor's budget cuts hours at libraries, pools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor's budget cuts hours at libraries, pools

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Mayor Willie Herenton pitched his budget proposal this week as balanced with pay raises, but other parts of the budget cuts operating hours at libraries, pools and community centers.

Herenton told City Council members the budget will not cut back on vital city services which have a direct impact on public safety, like police and fire services.  But he said his budget includes reducing hours at the city's libraries and community centers.

Those who take advantage of the 28 community centers in Memphis say providing a safe place for kids should be considered a vital city service.

"It's a bad idea because kids use these places to stay out of trouble," said Napoleon Parnell of Memphis. "We need a community center everywhere.  They don't need to cut their hours because the people that work here, they teach the kids something about life."

Action News 5 spoke to some community center directors who weren't able to voice their opinion on camera, who agree if community centers are less accessible the city will certainly see the crime rate go up because kids need something to do.

The majority of the city's community centers stay open until 8:00 at night.  The mayor wasn't specific about how many hours would be cut from centers like this one. 

The City Council will have to approve all the items in the mayor's budget, including community center cuts.

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