Resisted other options

The April 15 letter to the Sun Journal from Brenda Sassi and Linda Macgregor of the Rumford Public Library Growth Committee stated: "The board — and the community — needs to recognize that a vote to proceed with the application is not a vote about where or what the library should be."

That is not true. The public stance of the Library Growth Committee has always promoted a new library building. The committee has always resisted other options, including renovation of the present historic building.

A few years ago, a majority of Rumford citizens voted in a straw poll during an election to maintain or renovate the present library building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is natural, of course, for citizens to desire the renovation of such a historic building.

Lewiston and Auburn renovated their public libraries on site. They did not build anew. Portland, Maine's largest city and financial center, also renovated its present library on site. It would not be unprecedented, then, for Rumford to renovate its present historic library.

What's the bottom line?

If the Rumford Public Library Growth Committee had accepted the will of the majority of citizens, the town's historic library might be renovated now.

Tom Fallon, Rumford

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Comments

Tony Capola's picture

A myopic view

A library will always be an important element of any community. Like any number of citizens, I support the library and the important services it provides.

How many times do we need to poll Rumford taxpayers before our town selectman come to understand that the vast majority do not support any major development plans for the library. In the meantime, the trustees and others like the members of the growth committee clearly understand the concept of repeated asking; do it often enough and you are likely to get what you want. The nuisance factor; a little trick we learned as children...

Some have said that if the community to receive the federal funding neither the Library Trustees nor the Growth Committee would NOT be obliged to spend the money as detailed in the grant application. I'd believe that to be the case were it not for the fact that both of these entities have long been locked on to the concept of moving the building... period... no possible alternatives will be considered. A very selfish attitude.

These entities need to recognize just how bare the town’s bank account is at this moment. If we applied for the grant and somehow won we will be required to pay another $1-million + in matching funds.

The supporters of the librarian and the trustees are determined to get what they want, taxpayers be-damned. They are not willing to remove the relocation concept from the table and to talk about making “reasonable” adjustments to the existing structure where it sits. We all have to live within our means. We lost over 22% of our tax resources in 2009 and we will feel the upshot of this fact for any number of years.

There are bigger and more important issues that need immediate attention before any more is spend on the library. There are far more people adversely impacted by the poor roads in town than there are residents and non-residents that frequent the library. The newly constituted RSU #10 is a drain on town resources and will be for a long time. The fire station was recently declared unsafe and something needs to be done about all the decaying and abandon buildings in town. Our downtown area is nearly deserted and is destine to look even bleaker in the months and years ahead.

The list of problems only grows longer.

Support the library? Yes, of course, put not to the tune of $1-million plus, not now.

 's picture

Ignoring the poor

When a governmental official advocates for a tax increase in a economy where unemployment soars, they are setting the stage for those who are hanging on by a thread to lose their homes. This is irresponsible government.  Our government has to operate within the means of those who pay the bill. 

There are some who guage decisions on their personal fiscal comfort, disregarding those who live on an income that is less than their own. I am not attacking any of the people I mentioned. I am attacking their decision to ignore a large portion of their constituency.

 's picture

Kevin do you or have you ever

Kevin do you or have you ever visited a Library?

 's picture

Rumford Library

I have visited the library. I have attended meetings there. My daughter and I both have library cards. When I had computer problems, I have used the computers. As I see it, they provide a great service to the community. However, in this economy I do not support any effort to expend millions of dollars to move it nor build a new building. I would support a long term goal of building an addition if the library could make a case for it. I fully support the use of funds to maintain the existing building and remedy any code violations.

I resent your implication that I would express such a strong opinion without having visited the building. When the building issue was brought up in the past, I took the tour through the building  to see the problems that existed. I also saw both sets of plans; the expansion, and the new building. Somehow the expansion plans disappeared, and now the Growth Committee refuses to accept any option other than that which they proposed.

Truth be told, the Growth Committee is only an advisory group that should bring their recommendation to the Board of Trustees for a decision. Their circumventing of the trustees is way out of line, and only fuels the opposition they face. Rumford people don't want to be told how to spend their money by people from other towns. If those people want a new library so bad, have them propose it in their small towns. I would love to see the reaction.

 

 's picture

Kevin.what do you mean by

Kevin.what do you mean by attacking Mayor Gleason? How is Mayor Gleason ignoring the Poor?

 's picture

The push for a new library,

The push for a new library, or to move and expand our current library comes from a small group of people who can afford higher taxes. They are disregarding the citizens who are just barely able to pay their taxes. Our population has dropped, and continues to do so. The mill valuation has dropped, and will likely also continue to do so. Selectman Adley indicated to me that he does not believe that poor people exist. Selectman Sterling stated in a meeting that retired people should be able to continue to pay for services despite their change in income. It is this attitude that will eventually cause a battle between the haves and the have-nots. Wew see it everywhere, not just Rumford. Dick Gleason is ignoring the poor in the city he serves as well. Unfortunately for them, there are many more poor than there are wealthy. Those who act as kings should expect to be de-throned.

 's picture

Tom. Times are very Tight and

Tom. Times are very Tight and I cannot imagine how any real serious effort could happen to meet the growing Needs of the 'Rumford Public Library' But This Much I can tell you the 'Librarian Carl' and his Staff including Reference Librarian 'Claudia Reynolds' are Fine,dedicated professionals who truly desverve a Building that (1) Allows them to Do thier Job right (2) the Residents of Rumford & the River Valley deserve the right to visit a Library that his able to offer the Type of Services that are currently offered in Rumford .

 

I am really surprised that folks Like Len Greany and  others have not stepped up to the plate.When Times get rough were are the Ones who are in the best Position to lend a Hand?

Does The River Valley have a 'Andrew carnegie that can help?

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