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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A07, two Bellwood library referendums [BW]

Bellwood voters will face two library referendums on April 17.

One referendum is to split the library finances from the Village of Bellwood. At first glance this seems to be a "so what?" referendum. It won't affect the tax rate and it won't affect the amount of money the library gets each year.

Right now Cook County government disburses money for the Bellwood library to the Village of Bellwood. This allows the village to use the money to cover its short-term expenses as long as the money is given to the library eventually.

Arnie Bryant, the president of the library board, would also like the library district to have its own bond rating. He believes the library district does a better job managing its finances than the village does.

The other referendum seeks a tax increase to build a new library. The argument against passing the tax increase is that property taxes are already too high. However, this argument carries less weight because the amount of taxes devoted to the library is relatively small.

Typically Cook County property owners give about 1/3 of their taxes to their elementary school district, 1/3 to their high school district, about 10% for county government and about 10% municipal government. IIRC the park district, library district and township each get 2-6%. So, even a large tax increase for a library translates into a small property tax increase.

Their are various arguments for a new library. The obvious argument is that the facility is old (built 1960) and cramped. I've been to the Bellwood Public Library a couple times. It appears well run; and it's used by a number of patrons.

Other communities, like Forest Park, Maywood and Oak Park have nicer, more modern libraries.

Arnie argues that no community-minded person should be against improving library services. Arnie's position is more extreme than I would take. I opposed Oak Park's referendum for a new library (1999? 2000?).

I opposed the Oak Park referendum for a few reasons. I didn't perceive the previous facility was inadequate. I felt the new library proposal was an upgrade from adequate to luxurious.

I also felt that the relationship between libraries, bookstores and the Internet was evolving rapidly at the time. And it made sense to wait a few years to see how libraries could best complement bookstores and the Internet to provide the services needed by patrons.

Finally, I felt Oak Park's political elite had gotten a little carried away with passing referendum. Specifically, the new middle schools seemed like superfluous spending justified with misleading statements. The premise the schools were overcrowded seemed absurd since the ten schools had served 20% more students in the 1970s. (BTW, this position has become considerably more mainstream in the last couple years.)

One of the things I've noticed about the Forest Park library is that many patrons come to the library because large corporate employers (like Kmart and UPS) direct potential employees to apply for jobs online.

Libraries should probably hire people, at least part-time, to help patrons apply for jobs online. Hopefully, the Bellwood library will provide this kind of service. I do know the proposed library has many stations from which to access the Internet.

Arnie Bryant is a financial contributor to Proviso Probe.

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3 Comments:

  • Pasquele needs his ass run out of Bellwood. Bellwood has become a SICK town or a SICK PLANTATION! They support principals with porn and don't support a library.
    Jesse Williams is a coon, uncle tome negro that would die for Pasquele. Go Figure!

    If Bellwood residents don't vote for a library they are crazy and pathetic. Bellwood has a Las vegas style currentcy exchange, but not an UP TO DATE LIBRARY. Only in Bellwood is something this ABSURD!

    By Blogger Time_To_Move, at 9:59 PM, April 03, 2007  

  • I'm a black resident of Bellwoood and I plan on voting the way Mary Herrell and Frank Pasqaule want me to. I believe that they only, are the only ones who cares about our village.I will never vote for another black because "I don't want another black person to get a leg up on me"!

    By Anonymous Uncle Tom voter, at 5:45 AM, April 04, 2007  

  • You go Uncle Tom voter and vote exactly the way that Pasquali wants you to vote and you will get more of the same especially in the schools of Bellwood SD88! Principals with porn and changing of Supt every six months. What a wonderful place to live. I am sure you have no children in these schools or frequenting the public library, because if you did you would be more involved and know what is going on in this community. Besides can't you think for yourself and vote the way your common sense leads you. But if you need someone to help you think about HOW to vote ... Vote for DORRIS, SMITH, & WICKS SD88!!!! FAMILIES FIRST-- If you vote for Miller, Ramirez and Walker you will get MOORE of the same crap that is going on now. Albeit that there will be little bickering there will be less learning and less caring for what happens to our children. Heck they might just appear in a porn flick!!

    By Anonymous WAKE UP, at 10:41 PM, April 04, 2007  

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