Guest Column: Open letter to Byron Library Board president and members

Editor’s note: The following letter, dated June 19, 2006, was sent to Byron Library Board President Susan O’Neil, Vice President Elaine Breck, Treasurer Lavonne Berkeley, Secretary Rich Pleniewicz, and trustees Brad Townsend, Don Drake and Dan Leonard.

Regarding the recent information that the Byron Library District is bringing a lawsuit against the City of Byron, and the taxpayers of same… it appears you have lost sight of whom you are to serve. Cannot you find common ground?

Alternate suggestions:

Proposal “A”

1. Negotiate a trade for the lands of the park for a like area of the holdings across the street.

2. Move or build a new fountain and establish a new park area in that area at the expense of the Library District.

3. Extend the present building east; you already have the support facilities in place, i.e., elevator access to all floors, restrooms, phone and computer services, and other centralized services.

4. This would more than double the existing floor space.

5. Parking and access could be from both side streets.

6. Regarding the comment of being landlocked at the current building location, it appears even if there is additional square footage (depth) available at the parcels across the street, would this not also be susceptible to the same condition?

7. I am also concerned about the safety factors of individuals crossing Highway Route 72 from the main areas and services of the town.

8. This would appear to be the best cost-effective and safety solution.

Proposal “B”

1. The existing Byron Middle School will become vacant in two years.

2. Renovate and develop this building for the services of the Byron Library District.

3. Merge the Senior Services into this existing building also.

4. The location is certainly within close access for the student body of the schools, and easy access from all areas for the adults of the district.

5. Sell or lease the current building and lands to a commercial enterprise, thus generating additional monies, and satisfying the development plans of the City of Byron.

The current building funds being held (approximately $3.8 million) should more than adequately cover the expenditures of either proposal.

Also, I would like to question why you leveled such a large rate increase on the taxes for the year 2005.

1. 2004 EAV rate $602,883,929 x 0.06170 = $371,979.38 income.

2. 2005 EAV rate $507,425,964 x 0.16442 = $834,309.77 income.

3. The 2005 EAV rate reflects the reduction in value of the ComEd facilities.

4. This appears as an increase of revenue (income) of $462,330.39.

5. It appears you have more than made up for the EAV losses of ComEd.

6. You also added three new funds to generate added income ($43,182 included with the above).

7. Have you increased your services this year?

It is the opinion of the writer that you have lost sight of your duty and purpose to serve the people and taxpayers of the Byron Library District.

Warren Waltrip is a resident of the Byron Library District.

From the July 19-25, 2006, issue

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