JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Over a dozen people stood outside Jacksonville's City Hall Monday morning with signs and posters as Mayor Alvin Brown announced his proposed budget for 2014.
"Our mission out here today is just to speak out about budget priorities. We know the new budget is coming out and we know that there are proposed cuts," said Brian Bailey, Occupy Jacksonville.
Bailey brought his 10-year-old daughter out to protest the budget's proposal to close six library branches.
"She lives at the library, she loves the library, it's a safe place for them to go and to use the internet to hang out after school and if you go to the San Marco branch any day after school you'll see tons of children," said Bailey.
The budget for the upcoming fiscal year would also reduce operation hours for the remaining libraries.
It would also close 15 community centers throughout the city, half of city pools and Public Safety would also take a hit with the permanent closing of three Jacksonville Fire and Rescue stations.
Among other cuts, the Sheriff's Office would have to lay off over one hundred employees and $100 thousand would be cut from youth summer camps.
The budget proposes eliminating $61 million in spending, but some say the city is making cuts in the wrong places.
"You benefit from the police and fire department if you've never called the police, if you've never had a fire," said Bailey. "You benefit from those people having good paying jobs with pensions that they can depend on, these are not things that we're prepared to say we can't afford as a city."
Cheryl Williams uses the San Marco library branch on a regular basis and says she was approached by children asking what can be done.
Now she's helping get the word out with post cards that will be filled out and sent to Mayor Alvin Brown so children like Kaiya Bailey can continue going to the San Marco library.
For more information on the library petition effort click here.
Want to weigh in on the Mayor's proposed budget? Here's how:
Mayor Alvin Brown
Bill Gulliford, City Council President
Clay Yarborough, City Council Vice President
Greg Anderson, City Council Finance Committee Chair
First Coast News