Robbie Shell’s piece–“When ‘Enough’ Doesn’t Have to Mean ‘More'”–in Monday’s Wall Street Journal reminded me of our self-appointed trustees at the taxpayer-funded Westhampton Free Library as they endeavor to expand and redesign our brand new building without any community votes–be they for trustee representation or for capital projects.
They seem unaware of “the distinction between getting more and having enough.” John Updike, in a 1992 WSJ interview, said, “Maybe that’s one of the words Americans have a very hard time learning: the word ‘enough.'”
Plans are well established and already underway to expand the attic and redesign the first floor of the brand new building, partly funded by $624,000 accumulated tax dollars. Remember, after the expansion we have to staff, heat, air condition, and clean the additional space.
Yet current employees are still negotiating for objectively fair compensation for almost a year now. Employees should be the priority before spending more money on an already new building. Many believe the building is perfectly adequate ten months of the year. And we can certainly make do the other two months. Why not use space in the schools or in the firehouse in the summer? Why not request that the Town of Southampton renovate the vacant dilapidated building on Mill Road by the 7-11 for community events? We’d employ more locals, too.
What hubris on the part of six unelected library trustees to renovate an already new library building with no community voting! We taxpayers are fools!