Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Bond Issue Lost, but the Need for Brookfield Remains

Democracy in Action
Hello Neighbors:

In the past few months I have been trying to make the case to all of you why I think we need a new library. I have made the case on line and face to face. It was a cause I was passionate about, where in my opinion it was a good investment in the community whose time had come.

The referendum for that library bond issue was defeated this Tuesday.

I was disappointed, but what impressed me was the engagement of the community. I can’t say if there were other things on the ballot that might have driven it, but turnout far exceeded expectations. Over seventy-five percent of registered voters cast ballots one way or the other for the library, finding their way to it through all the top of the ticket choices and the judge retention elections.

This shows how engaged as a community that we all are, and despite the election not going the way I hoped I am heartened by all the involvement. Government at the local level is about individual choices we are all empowered to make – in fact to be successful it demands action of the citizens.

That said, I volunteered my time as a citizen because I feel that the library is still an important part of our community’s infrastructure that needs improvement. The building is aging and there is not enough space for the programs the community already engages in, let alone will demand in the future.

The need for space was real and still is real. The library as a community center cannot be replaced by a better home Wi-Fi connection or networked e-books. The library is the beating heart of the community. I thank so much those who believe in that vision. The need means that we will be asked again what our vision for the community is, and in what shape. It will be an ongoing conversation with the citizens of Brookfield. I look forward to being part of this conversation.