Greater community needs new library |

Greater community needs new library

I agree. Let’s get it right. Vote Yes on 4B and 4C. We need to vote for the new regional library.

I commend the library board of directors for its hard work and perseverance in getting the library questions to the November ballot after four arduous years of study. Four years of public input, four years of reviewing potential sites and alternatives, and four years of negotiations with the town. The time is right to move forward, vote yes, and build a library with a capacity to serve into the future.

I have watched from the sidelines and participated off and on throughout the process. I’ve not seen more scrutiny of a public facility in the 27 years I have lived in the immediate area.

The mayor and his disgruntled political action cronies misrepresent the facts in their ad. Their opposition is centered around the proposed location and nothing more. They say, “Many of us agree that Basalt needs a new library.” That’s their issue in a nutshell – one library, in Basalt.

They see the library as a neighborhood right; an amenity that they want within walking distance of their homes, businesses or potential developments. If they can’t have it their way, then they don’t want anyone else to have anything.

The same disgruntled group doesn’t understand “regional.” They don’t see the “greater community.” They complain that the proposed facilities are not “small” enough. They must think of the town’s neighborhood swimming pool as a “regional facility” as opposed to the wonderful neighborhood amenity that it is.

They don’t seem to realize that the adjacent Crown Mountain Park, county offices and community center, City Market plaza/Movieland complex (which is in Basalt), RFTA Area Park and Ride, local restaurants, and the bowling alley are all “regional facilities” within walking distance of the proposed new regional library site.

The ski club buses pick up and drop off kids at the bowling alley, which would share the parking area with the new regional library. Shared parking is a tremendous cost reduction. They forget that Willits is the future regional commercial hub of the community.

Imagine where we would be if we all saw things from the mayor and his disgruntled group’s perspective, and then voted that way.

The few thousand people living west of Old Town Basalt would always vote against improvement of the schools located in Basalt, since they’re “not in our neighborhood.” We would always oppose new fire station improvements unless the station was located “very close to our homes.”

We wouldn’t support recreation unless it took place “in our neighborhood.” Good thing it doesn’t work that way. We see things as a community. That’s what makes us strong.

“Community” isn’t defined by town boundaries or political fiefdoms. It’s much larger than that. Let’s move beyond the neighborhood politics of the old guard and do what’s best for the “greater community.” Vote Yes on 4B and 4C.

Bruce Matherly

El Jebel

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