Letter to the editor: City Council was wrong to oppose library site measureOn March 22, Jamestown’s City Council voted 3-2 to prohibit the James River Valley Public Library Board from proceeding with site selection for a new and improved public library and community center. A public hearing was held the previous evening at City Hall where the Library Board pitched its plans and fielded questions on the project.
By: Michael Dreier, The Jamestown Sun
On March 22, Jamestown’s City Council voted 3-2 to prohibit the James River Valley Public Library Board from proceeding with site selection for a new and improved public library and community center. A public hearing was held the previous evening at City Hall where the Library Board pitched its plans and fielded questions on the project. One council member took the public meeting forum as an opportunity to get answers to questions that would have already been answered had he attended any of the numerous public meetings the Library Board held over the past few months.
The main reason the council gives for bringing down its axe on progress is that the slight majority feels any new taxpayer dollars should go toward infrastructure projects. In case the council naysayers have missed the last 20 years’ worth of State of the Union addresses, our nation’s leaders have made it pretty clear that we should be investing in our country’s infrastructure and education. If the council naysayers think that a new public library — one designed to maximize operating efficiency and welcome tomorrow’s technology — is a poor investment in the future of this county then I would like to know in which other public education projects they are planning on allowing us to invest?
That’s right, I said “allow us to invest.” When the council said no to the library project they also said nay to your opportunity to voice your opinion through public vote. Thanks for denying Stutsman County the opportunity to decide if we want to invest in the future of our community’s education.
In a recent article I read that North Dakota is growing its own talent to compete in the global market. Take the short tour of the Alfred Dickey Public Library and it should be pretty clear, council members, that we don’t have room to grow much besides mold spores in this archaic building. Unfortunately, the council naysayers have prioritized out a new library capable of providing greater free public access to knowledge and technology in Stutsman County. They must not be too concerned about all of the jobs that have recently been outsourced from Stutsman County to places that are catching and surpassing us in education and efficiency.
If the “New blood on City Council,” as they were called in The Jamestown Sun’s Progress Edition, really want to prepare the way into the future and put the foundation in place to see growth in population and jobs, they will need to change their infrastructure-only attitude and allow us to invest in the tools needed to grow talent and skills that will be required in the future.