Transparency, accountability, respect for residents’ intelligence, and respect for the needs and concerns expressed by their constitutents are all lacking in the approach taken by the council majority, under the whip of Ms. McKeithen. Rather than do the hard work to make the case to the community and share what we’ve been told is a lot of research and work, the council majority has attempted to force their decision on the rest of the community. Residents have not had any opportunity to assess whether a new library in the park is the right thing for our community, because the ALBSC came out swinging, bringing their recommendation to the council for a vote and allowing the process to move ahead before the community had any real chance to vet the project. I can’t say this any better than this gentleman did:
From: Ross Koningstein <email@example.com>
Date: May 24, 2012 9:45:24 AM PDT
Subject: [Athertonians] Re: Tennis Courts at Holbrook Palmer Park
. . . One of the comments I made to the proposed library environmental impact report was that there was no discussion of whether a library move could be optimal for the town. These economic impacts (opportunity cost to putting a library in the park) – affect all the other things in the park, and on future town decisions as the buildings are upgraded/replaced, etc.
Such costs are ultimately born by the town residents in the form of extra costs or reduced value of the town’s services, facilities, and infrastructure. We expect our council to make decisions in the interest of the town and its residents. By not asking for and factoring these costs into a decision the council members who vote for this are not fulfilling a fiduciary obligation to the town.
I fail to understand how a council member could vote for the library project as planned without a factual analysis of what the town as a whole needs in its town center – and pros and cons of moving forward in different ways. Convince me this is good for the town by presenting the consequences of alternatives.