The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
Libraries are in the news again. Holden (the town, not the politician) has raised $250,000 to build a new library in their town. When the library is built, it is expected to become part of the Trails Regional system. Meanwhile, the Warrensburg branch, which also serves as system headquarters, was again fighting to protect its collection from an internal waterfall. Yes, the roof leaks, and several shelves have to be protected by plastic.
The condition of the library needs to be addressed despite the overwhelming defeat of the library issue last year. That issue was doomed when a previous Warrensburg administration tried to strong-arm the Library Board into giving the city control of the conference rooms. Even though the final compromise was reasonable, the damage had already been done.
Perhaps a new solution would involve a less pretentious building or a less controversial location. Perhaps a more cooperative Warrensburg administration would be less demanding on a land deal. Perhaps the Warrensburg branch and the system offices could be relocated piecemeal, with the branch relying more on private money. Perhaps a much more effective campaign could be run for another levy try.
Citizen boards have two functions, financial oversight and community leadership. There is no reason to doubt the Library Board’s fiscal management, but the condition of the Warrensburg facility cries out for resolution. This board, composed of citizens of Lafayette and Johnson Counties, is appointed to exercise leadership in meeting the needs of the library and of the citizens of those countries. It’s time for them to tell us what they’re planning to do so those who support the library have something to get behind and push.
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