Where have library opponents been? | AspenTimes.com

Where have library opponents been?

In 1968, Richard Nixon ran for president with a promise to end the Vietnam War with a “secret plan.” After the election, the voters learned that the secret plan was nothing but campaign rhetoric.

The Citizens for One Library Committee are currently urging midvalley voters to defeat the library initiative on Nov. 4. The leaders of this committee did not participate in the four-year public planning process for new library services nor did they come to any meetings of the library board with suggestions for how and where to build a new library. Where have they been for the last four years?

At the 11th hour, they have taken an interest in the project and think they have a better idea. Their campaign slogan is “Let’s get it right.”

Voters and journalists should ask the leaders of this committee, “What is your secret plan?” To support its campaign rhetoric, this committee should be asked to provide specific details:

(1) Exactly where in Old Town Basalt would the committee build a new library?

(2) How much would the land cost?

(3) Is the building site outside the 100-year flood plain?

(4) How large a library would they build?

(5) Do they plan a one-story, two-story or three-story building?

(6) What would be the cost of construction?

(7) How many parking spaces would be provided?

(8) How close would their library be to public transportation?

The Basalt Regional Library Board has had extensive deliberations with professional consultants to determine what library resources are needed for the midvalley. The board has carefully considered the feasibility of many different sites, including in-depth analyses of three sites in Old Town Basalt, two sites in the Willits development and the Crawford site.

The proposal that has been submitted to the voters is significantly more cost-effective than the other alternatives. By making use of the existing building in Lions Park and accepting the generous offer of the Crawford family, the board proposal saves taxpayers at least a million dollars.

It also offers the convenience of two sites, shortens automobile trips and puts library services within walking or biking distance of many more patrons. In addition, the Nov. 4 proposal provides easy access to public transportation and ample parking at both locations.

The Citizens for One Library Committee is running on empty. Their campaign is based on fuzzy thinking and misinformation. The emperor doesn’t have any clothes.

Peter Frey


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