As a native of, and as a former practicing attorney in Rumford, I was shocked to read that the Board of Selectpersons wish to take full control of our public library by changing the role of the library trustees from an operating to an advisory capacity.

As a Rumford native and the Rumford town attorney for 26 years prior to my retirement, I want to share my serious concerns about Article 47, Question 2, in the 2020 town meeting warrant.

I can only conclude that this proposed article is a veiled attempt by a few selectmen to censor what readers can read and what library activities will be allowed. The selectmen, through the town manager, have had — for decades — the power to hire or fire any library employee. The selectmen erroneously professed that they did not have this power and that was the reason for the inclusion of Article 47, Question 2, in the warrant.

One of the selectmen just recently admitted that the real reason for Article 47, Question 2, was that this article, if passed, would allow the selectmen and town manager total control over the content of the reading materials and activities of our library.

As one who has loved Rumford for its unique personality, I would hate to see it begin a slide down the slippery slope of extinguishing the rights of Rumford residents to exercise their constitutional rights of free expression and assembly.

It is important that on July 14th that people vote “no” on Article 47, Question 2.

Albert Beliveau, Naples, Florida

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