Our Public Library in Huntsville has been the subject of many compassionate citizens over the past few weeks, and I have read all the comments by people who have a real concern about our library’s future.
I can assure our citizens that every member of your City Council shares in your love for our library and would not do anything which they believe would be harmful to our library. Our Council wants only to improve the operation and services to our city library and expand the services by taking advantage of an opportunity to contract with a professional library management group and embrace a change in the management which we believe will expand our library horizon and place greater emphasis on the growth and development of our cherished Library.
I would sincerely hope the citizens, the Library Board and the Friends of the Library would be open to this opportunity to achieve a much more enhanced and expanded library. To listen to some of the comments being made about this change are hurtful and uninformed. Look around at our city and ask yourself if members of the City Council have ever voted on any issue that would bring harm to our “Home Sweet Huntsville”. This Council’s sole goal is improvement to our City and the services it offers our citizens. Just look at all the new people who are moving to our area because they want to be a part of our envied lifestyle. Your Council votes on the easy decisions and the difficult decisions as well. The library vote can be classified as one of the difficult decisions; however, I ask our citizens to give it a chance and see if after a reasonable period of time your Library has made vast improvements in its operation for our community. Your city still owns the library property, the library building, the fixtures, the books, the supplies, and all that is associated with our library and sets all policies that govern the operations of the library. The only change is the management of the library.
Your elected officials on the City Council and the city staff are the authority that the management company answers to and if the Council doesn’t believe that this management change is working out for our citizens, the Council has the authority to make the necessary changes.
Changes in our city can be met with various reactions; sometimes, we embrace change and sometimes we resist change. My classic example was how I originally resisted the development of the Ravenwood shopping center. Boy, was I ever wrong. Just look how that development has matured, increased our tax base, and made life better for our citizens. I ask our citizens to give this change a chance and see hopefully that it results in expanded library services for our city. We on council always welcome your comments and input, but always know that your elected officials strive to improve our city and have the courage to make the necessary improvements. You have trusted the council in the past to make necessary changes, I’m asking you to trust us now.
In closing, I would ask our citizens to give this change a fair chance. Your elected Council is working hard for our city. We will have an election in November, and I encourage our citizens to use their power of the vote and get involved.
Mayor, City of Huntsville