OPINION: Town Meeting Must Spotlight Dedham Library

Library warrants full inspection when budget time comes.


Before it allows one cent for , Dedham Town Meeting will need clear, public answers.

Town Administrator Bill Keegan plans  to the Dedham Library.

Last year, the Dedham Library Trustees had serious troubles.

because the trustees , and good. If the parties disagreed on how to run the libraries, they should part ways.

But there are still lots of questions. Who sent the letters to the telling them they were fired?  Because it was not Lambert, and she is the only who had the administrative power to send such letters. Then who wrote the letters? Trustees need to answer this publically. . Trustees are elected town officials in charge, and they did not take charge. They have no power to demure out of courtesy to the letter writer. This is a clear transgression. Town Meeting cannot approve roughly $1 million in library funds without this answer – and others.

Why did some trustees know about those workers’ dismissal-rehiring and others did not?

How did Dedham over the years that it needed to qualify for all its state aid and therefore had to file for special treatment?

Why did the trustees shift their decision to and then close the other library?

Why did on her way out the door? Turns out it was and not a major issue, but it should have been addressed immediately. Why not handle it as soon as it came up?

What is the financial setup of the library and are any changes planned?

Of course there are all the normal questions about the buildings, , hours of operation, any new programs and other matters.

Everybody wants a sterling library system. Like schools, they are something people look at when buying a home in a community.

To ensure the libraries work well, Dedham needs to give them a thorough inspection this year.

Given all the problems the library has had in recent months, Town Meeting cannot simply rubber-stamp the budget.

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Dan Hart March 06, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Can anyone explain how this is a benefit to the Library: http://dedham.patch.com/articles/dedham-library-schools-ink-book-deal
Gary Roberts March 06, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Dan: It requires some funny math, some good will within the town and good intentions offered at the wrong time. If finances were good, if the Library were in great physical plant shape, etc., supporting the schools would be fine. It happens frequently as schools lose their funding for school librarian services. But that ain't so in this town at the present time. We're pouring money into building schools but not into supporting them with needed supplies. Does it make sense to rob the Library funds to support the schools when the Library needs support too? Of course not. I suggest the Town build one or two fewer turrets on the schools and provide more books.
Andrew March 12, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Gary, Maybe if the cops hadn't sucked all that money from the budget, working all those phony baloney details, there would have been plenty for books!
Timothy Robertson March 12, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Just as a point of clarification, details are not paid for by the Dedham Police Department. The organization or business requiring the detail foots the bill, i.e. Legacy Place.
Andrew March 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
You are correct. The Department doesn't pay for the details. Maybe if they did there would be alot less waste of the tax payers increasingly shrinking income. From your article dated March 6th, "Unforeseen costs tear into Avery contingency budget" Causes for this...3rd item: police details. Your words, not mine. Phony baloney details eat tremendous amounts of money that could have been directed at other things, i.e. books. Running through Oakdale Square I noticed The Town of Dedham doing some tar work on the street. It was the 100 yard stretch of Oakdale Ave. that runs parallel to the Square's triangle park. It has 4 houses on it, has little to no traffic and was appropriately closed off. Yet there was a need to have 2 cops working a detail, just standing there talking to each other? Who do you think paid for them? I'm sure it wasn't Legacy Place. And how many books do you think that waste of funds could have purchased?


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