Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...Usage doesn't warrant a new library
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 12 Apr 2006, p. 6

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Dear editor, Our votes really do count. By and large, if we choose to support or reject a position, in a democracy we collectively decide its outcome. Municipally, we have consistently experienced excessive tax increases, well beyond inflation and reason. Currently, a large, excessive investment in Halton Hills' library system is being considered. If approved by the leaders we chose, it will mean even bigger rates of increase in our taxes. The costs of constructing and maintaining new facilities are disturbing when one considers that fewer than 50,000 people live in the community to be serviced by the proposed facility. I have been an occasional library user (like many) for more than 20 years. In more than 100 visits, I have never seen more than one person waiting for service from reference personnel or check out personnel. The only substantial activity I see is in the children's area and computer workstation area (presumably for free Internet access). The public library's purpose is to provide opportunities for information, education, culture, and recreation. The Internet has replaced the library as the people's top information resource because it is clearly superior in providing each of these opportunities. So why are we considering making a major, major library investment? Decent used computers are available locally for under $200. Twelve PC's and four cubicles could be added to the existing library network at minimal cost. Alternatively, for the benefit of all citizens, particularly those who can not afford Internet service at home, why not retain the existing library and open a small Internet satellite in a less-expensive downtown location, rentable at a small fraction of the cost of newly constructed facilities, and expand it as required in the future? If we do not use our vote to encourage financial responsibility, we get what we deserve. We learned valuable lessons when Canadian spending went unchecked for two decades. Please do not forget the price we have paid, and will continue to pay for decades into the future, for that mistake. There is substantial opposition to a large library investment, evident in recurring letters to the editor. Express that opposition with your vote. Familiarize yourself with your local representatives' positions (council member, mayor, MPP, MP) on key spending initiatives and budget decisions. Let them know how you feel-- and vote! Al Robitaille, Georgetown

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12 Apr 2006
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Robitaille, Al
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...Usage doesn't warrant a new library