Weeks after he was demoted from Education Minister and placed to work within the Ministry of the Presidency, Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Executive Member, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine has resigned from both Parliament and Government.President David GrangerPresident David Granger on Wednesday confirmed that he did receive a resignation letter from the WPA co-leader, but is yet to make a determination, as the former Education Minister could only resign if his letter was approved by the Head of State.“I received a letter from Dr Roopnaraine, the contents of which I will not disclose. But he cannot resign until I accept a resignation, and as far as I am concerned, I have not done so.”As of now, Dr Roopnaraine remains a member of Cabinet, the President assured.Guyana Times understands that the letter was given to the President on Sunday after WPA executives met with Roopnaraine.On Wednesday, WPA Executive Member, Dr David Hinds told this publication that the party was fully consulted on Dr Roopnaraine’s decision.“We met with him and after listening to his reasons, we agreed with his decision to resign from Government. In the final analysis, it is Dr Roopnaraine’s decision to make and he has made that decision and the party supports his decision,” Hinds told this newspaper.He said the party would hold on to the reasons given by Roopnaraine for his resignation for now and await the conclusion of a meeting the President has with the WPA co- leader.According to Hinds, he could not say if the President, who was expected to meet with Roopnaraine on Wednesday, would be able to influence him to change his mind.“What I can say is that he (Dr Roopnaraine) was very firm in his decision to resign. What happens when he meets with the President, that is a matter for him and the President, but I can tell you that he was very firm in his decision to leave Government.”With Roopnaraine’s resignation, Government will need to replace a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly. Hinds said the WPA hoped that with the President’s stated commitment to the inclusion of all coalition party members in Government that a request would be made for a WPA replacement. He said the party was prepared for such.What seemed to be a small falling-out between the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the WPA came to the fore days after President Granger announced in June that the former Education Minister had been asked to head the Public Service Ministry, a new ministry created within the Ministry of the Presidency.The WPA had raised concerns that the move by Government was a premature one and the party was never consulted on the matter. It had also asked that Dr Roopnaraine be vindicated, following the results of the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), which showed a stark improvement in the critical areas of Mathematics and English. The President had said that Roopnaraine was re-assigned to lead improvements in the Public Sector.It is not clear if the Minister’s demotion was the reason for his resignation.
Half of the funding from Proposition 81 would go to projects that were submitted under the previous library bond measure but were never approved for construction, Spahn said. Communities would have to submit new applications to receive portions of the second part of Proposition 81 funding. The applications could include existing projects as well as new ones, he said. In making a case for new libraries, Spahn’s group cited a 2003 study that found the state needs more than 500 new libraries, at a cost of about $4.4 billion. “In many communities, the growing populations of student-age children and seniors are outstripping the services libraries could provide,” he said. “Libraries offer a safe place for students. Libraries are trained in instructing students on how to do research for school projects and how to use the Internet. They also reduce illiteracy. Three million Californians can’t read or write,” Spahn added. But Proposition 81 critics argue that a bond is not the best way to pay for more libraries. “The problem is the politicians have refused to make libraries a priority,” Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Temecula, said in a joint statement with Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. “Today, state spending is $43 billion more than it was just seven short years ago,” the three stated in their ballot message opposing Proposition 81. “Could the state use just 2 percent of that money to pay for library improvements? “Yes, they could, but that means the politicians would have to take the money from their pet projects, like welfare, free health care, and reduced college tuition for illegal aliens, and give it to libraries.” But Spahn said using bonds to build public works projects such as libraries is more efficient than pay-as-you-go. “Over the course of 25 to 30 years, inflation eats away at a dollar,” he said. “We can build and renovate many libraries using $600 million in the next five years than we can spending $600 million over the next 25 to 30 years.” As of Tuesday, Proposition 81 was leading in the polls. A Public Policy Institute of California survey found that the measure was leading by a 51-41 percentage margin. Meanwhile, library officials in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs said new facilities are needed because their existing libraries are too small. Paymaneh Maghsoudi, director of library services for Whittier, said the library on Mar Vista has outgrown its capacity. “This library was built in 1957,” she said. “In 1957, it was only a warehouse for books, but now we offer so many services. We have a homework center and we have different programs for adults and children.” Santa Fe Springs City Manager Fred Latham said a new library in that city would allow for more meeting rooms. “Right now we do a lot of special programs in the library and, as a result, it’s disruptive of library use,” Latham said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2$10 million from Proposition 81 for a new library that would also be about twice the size of an existing facility. It would be constructed on the site of the city’s community gardens. The total cost is estimated at $15 million, which also includes the value of the city- owned land. But officials are less certain they would get the funding – Santa Fe Springs’ library project ranks lower than Whittier’s library project. Les Spahn, manager for the Yes On Proposition 81 campaign, said organizers pushed to get the measure on the ballot because $350 million from a library bond issue passed by voters in 2000 has been used up, but the need remains for new libraries across the state. Whittier and Santa Fe Springs are among dozens of California cities that could receive funding for new libraries if voters Tuesday approve Proposition 81, a $600 million library bond issue. In Whittier, the proposition’s passage would almost certainly mean about $19.3 million for a new 71,000-square-foot library – nearly double the size of the one on Mar Vista Street. The new facility would be built where an Alpha Beta store once stood in Uptown Whittier. The total cost of the project is estimated at $29 million, which included the value of the land, which the city has already purchased. In Santa Fe Springs, officials are seeking