Guest Column: Byron citizens ignored by library board

The Byron Library Board members publicly acknowledged at their last meeting that their latest efforts to communicate with the citizens of Byron have been poor. They cited the recent Byron Town Hall Meeting and the fact that more than 100 people attended that meeting, which was about the library’s proposed new building.

What they failed to acknowledge, in any way, was the fact that more than 85 percent of the poeple who attended the Town Hall Meeting were squarely against the library building a new facility on Route 2, across the street from their current building.

This is another example of how the Library Board members continue to make decisions based on anything except public input. As elected officials, it is their duty to honor the wishes of the public, even when it is in contrast to their own personal agendas.

Because the opinions of the public are falling on the Library Board’s deaf ears, the community has no other choice but to turn to other officials for help. As a result, the City of Byron, the Park District and Byron Community Revitalization have all recently stated the Library Board should behave in a fiscally-responsible manner and build on a site that will not hurt Byron’s future. These organizations are doing their jobs, representing the people who elected them.

This is the time for the Library Board members to be heroes. Find a better solution that will benefit everyone in Byron. This solution can only be found through two-way communication and open minds. It is up to the Library Board members to honestly examine this issue and how the public really feels about it. It is then their duty to represent the people of Byron and what they want.

This may appear to be the 11th hour to the Board members. However, that means there is still time to do the right thing.

What will their legacies be? Money-wasters or innovators and visionaries?

Rebecca Hines is a resident of Byron, Ill.

From the Sept. 6-12, 2006, issue

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