At the March 11 meeting of the Rural Library District Board, I commended the U-B for its March 3 Perspective section in which the Rural Library District Board and the Library Users Coalition had an opportunity to have their ideas presented on whether or not it was a good idea for the RLD to build a second library near Walla Walla. Both sides presented their arguments well.
Dan Clark, representing the LUC, suggested that the RLD Board hold a meeting inviting those interested among the 10,000 residents of Fire Districts 4 and 8 (the “doughnut” area) to learn of their library plans and vote about whether they did or did not want the RLD to build a second library. He wrote the RLD and the LUC should agree to respect the decision of these residents.
At the meeting I pointed out that members of the RLD Board and the LUC share a common passion about libraries, and that it is unfortunate that there should be so much contention between basically kindred spirits.
I reiterated that agreement to respect the wishes of the “doughnut” residents would lead to a harmonious resolution of our disagreement. This would free us to support each other as two organizations promoting the importance of libraries naturally should do.
Sadly the RLD Board made no response to my suggestion. Instead it revealed tentative architectural plans for the RLD county library and indicated where it plans to build near Walmart in the College Place area.
I cannot understand why it is unwilling to allow the residents of the “doughnut hole,” who will pay for most of the costs of a second library in the urban area, to have a voice in whether they want it. Democracy is the hallmark of the American political system.