To the taxpayers of the Walla Walla County Rural Library District: Your non-elected library board is officially designated as a board of trustees. The word trustee is defined as, "manager of another's property; a person who is given the legal authority to manage money or property on behalf of somebody else."
It appears that this group has been a questionable steward of your tax dollars. The Plaza Way branch is a blatant example. Now, apparently, it wants to build a multi-million dollar facility within 10 miles of the city library.
Rumor has it, that in order to do this, it plans on borrowing $2 million in addition to your existing $3 million reserve.
The Union-Bulletin in a recent editorial referred to it this way: "The idea of building a new 11,000 to 15,000 (sq. ft.) Rural Library branch within or close to the city limits is beyond redundant -- it's ridiculous."
These five appointed people control how your tax dollars are used. There's little evidence that they've been listening to you, their constituents. The window of opportunity to speak up and to have your needs heard is rapidly closing. The Rural Library website lists the trustees as: Andrea Berglin; Sandra Bradley, Board chairwoman; Alice MacDonald; Carol Peterson, vice chairwoman; and Patty Adams Warnock. Without your voice this group will continue to run the Rural Library District as its own fiefdom.
The next RLD meeting is today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Baker Boyer Bank, Plaza Branch. The Walla Walla Library Users Coalition is meeting July 17 at 7 p.m. at Fire District 4, 2251 Howard Street. Susan Newton, facilitator for the Library Users Group, will present information on the process used by the now defunct Library Working Group. I urge you to have your say.
Personally, I'd like to see a unified city/county library. In the meantime, there needs to be continuing dialogue between the county rural library and the city library.