Thursday, October 27, 2016

Build It Now: For the New Brookfield Library

I pay thousands, every year, for things I will never use. I pay these dollars out of my account every month. Every six months, I see the breakdown: Schools; Parks; the village; community colleges. I’ll never use these. I don’t use the schools. I don’t go to the community colleges. I use the parks but not all of them.

Why do I pay those thousands?

Am I a fool?

Someone is pulling the wool over my eyes as I sleep and mix metaphors in my dreams?

I am making an investment in my community. I am making sure that all our kids are educated. I am making sure that we all have the parks we need when we need to go stretch our legs. I am making sure that the police are there when I need them because someone thought it was smart to dump their trash in my alley.

Each dollar is an investment in the community that I have chosen to call home. I live here and I work here, and it is in my best interest to make this the best place we can make it be. We’re not Oak Park or Naperville, but we have this nice small town vibe in the shadow of the big city and I want to make it the best small town in the shadow of the big city as possible.

That’s why I’m investing my time and energy trying to build a new library. The one we have doesn’t fit our needs, and we need a new one. I get the concern about raising taxes. Paychecks aren’t going up fast enough. But for my family, my home doesn’t end at my fences. My home is all the houses I walk by – the cape cods and the Tudors and the colonials. My home is all the businesses I spend my money at – Galloping Ghost and Burger Antics and Tony’s and Tischlers. My home is the parks and the schools and the libraries even if I never see the inside of the parks and schools and libraries.

The Library. And the roads. And the schools. And the Parks. They are all about more than your individual tax bill. It’s about asking yourself what kind of community you want to live in. I want to live in a community where we all want to invest in the community. I hope you feel the same.