Trustee’s Letter About Town Meeting Warrant Articles

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The letter below is from the Board of Library Trustees and it appeared in the Rehoboth Reporter (online edition) on October 23, 2013. We have added it to the blog as part of the library’s on-going effort to inform you about important local issues. An opposing viewpoint by Doreen Taylor, a former Seekonk Selectmen, can be found on page 12 of the October 2013 (print edition) of the Rehoboth Reporter . This copyrighted publication cannot be reproduced here, but it is available in the library.   We encourage you to e-mail your comments and questions to the Library Trustees at  trustees@seekonkpl.org. –Peter Fuller, Director.

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An Open Letter to the Residents of Seekonk:

The warrant for the November 18th Town Meeting contains three articles that can dramatically affect the present and future operations of the Seekonk Public Library. As your elected Board of Library Trustees, we believe it is important to inform town residents about these articles and our position on them.

Article 11 is to transfer control of the library building, including access and use, and the adjacent Seekonk Meadows, from the Library Trustees to the Board of Selectmen. The transfer of the land and buildings was approved by Town Meeting vote in 2010, and this article seeks to reverse that decision. The Board strongly opposes such a move for the following reasons:

• The property in question has been managed in an efficient, successful and problem free manner by the Trustees on an informal basis since in 1980. In 2010, by Town Meeting vote, the Trustees were formally granted oversight of the property as provided by the General Laws of the Commonwealth.

• Since 2010, the property also includes The Seekonk Meadows, the only passive recreation area in Seekonk. The land has been managed with the cooperative effort of the Trustees, Board of Selectmen, The Meadows Committee and the Department of Public Works resulting in several programs being offered to support families and others.

• Funds for the establishment and ongoing beautification of The Meadows have been provided by donations from town residents under the auspices of the Seekonk Library Trust, an IRS-approved 503(c) organization.

Article 12 is seeking funding, $25,000, for the purpose of obtaining engineering, design, and architectural services for the expansion, refurbishing, or other related costs. If approved, the Commonwealth will provide an additional $50,000 in financial support.

Article 13 will authorize the Town Moderator to appoint seven town residents to a facilities committee for the purpose of examining the library facilities needs and in developing appropriate designs, specifications and other related materials pertaining facility changes.

The mission of the Seekonk Public Library is to enrich lives by fostering lifelong learning and by ensuring every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas and information. Our library serves a broad range of the population of the community including individuals and families of all ages and make up, as well as students from our public and private schools. We are a destination for many of our senior citizens, veterans and others seeking resources or doing research.

It is vital that we have a library facility that expands and improves to meet the needs of our community. Accordingly, it is essential that Article 11 be rejected and articles 12 and 13 be accepted to ensure our public library continues to meet the needs of our community.

Board of Library Trustees

 

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