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Flagrant inaccuracies in library friends’ letter

By Wednesday, May 15, 2019 Letters 1

To the editor:

The information in yesterday’s Friends of GB Libraries letter regarding the “value of libraries to economic development” contained a few inaccuracies. The most flagrant one concerned an incumbent Finance Committee member who is running for re-election, Tom Blauvelt.

When the library budget was up for a discussion/vote in 2018, Mr. Blauvelt excused himself from any discussion/vote on the library budget because his wife was an employee of the library. Your letter stated he voted for the cut.

During the budget process in 2018, the Selectboard had asked the Town Manager to tell all town departments to come up with cuts and the library responded by coming up with a cut to the Books/Subscriptions budget.

Yes, there were people that spoke up against money being cut. However I, as a Trustee of the Library, spoke for the cut, stating that the Books/ Subscription budget could sustain the cut for the fiscal year 2019. As a matter of fact, adult and children’s programming is paid for by state money, not town money.

The Friends of the GB Libraries letter states that they do not endorse specific candidates, yet I feel that they did just that. If the signees of the letter wanted to email the letter to other Friends to educate them, fine; however, I feel that the Friends overstepped their boundaries by writing their letter to the public.

Kathy Plungis

Great Barrington