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Release Date: December 18, 2004

Should  the towns elected officials scrutinize the Library's budget and expansion proposals?  If the answer is no should we change the charter of the library and create an independent Library Board that is elected by the people? Some communities around the state have independent Library Boards. They are elected by the people---their budgets are approved by the Library Board and then voted on by the public each year. There is a separate library tax that voters approve or reject annually.
If we had an independent Library Board that Board would not have to ask the town for permission to schedule a referendum in March instead of November. And, the Town Board would not have any say in the wording of any referendum or in the amount of a referendum that is proposed.  If budgets are tight -- the Library would not compete with other departments for appropriations since they would have the power to tax themselves. The Town Supervisor and Board would not oversee the construction of any library expansion -- that would be done by the independent Library Board.
Fire districts are independent of the town. School districts are independent of the town. What do you think? PAUL FEINER

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