Library opposition a matter of location

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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I had a lengthy discussion with the person with the traffic study concern after the Brookfield Village Board meeting Oct 14. After we parted I kept wishing that I asked what he wanted.

He repeatedly said, "All I want is that it [the new library] is done right."  

In his public statement, extensively researched, the Park Avenue resident repeatedly expressed concern for traffic reports by companies with lapsed state registration and cost to the taxpayers. In our one-on-one follow-up discussion, he added his concerns for the foreseeable increased traffic on Park Avenue and for the safety of his children.

This local resident noted that he moved to Brookfield five years ago and that he would love a new library.  

As I think about it, I did learn what he wants. He wants a (our) new library but not in his back yard. I don't really think he wants to spend more public tax dollars by starting over again with a new traffic study company and by delaying the construction schedule.  

He just doesn't want the new library on his Park Avenue block. He acknowledged that he had not attended any of the many public planning meetings held by the library board or library board open meetings pursuing community input.

If our village's legal adviser thinks the library board's efforts are in line with state requirements, I urge the village board members to vote acceptance of the new library plans to proceed with their schedule to build.

I would ask the unhappy resident that if we didn't build the new library on the former Methodist Church lot, where? If he had attended more meetings, even in the five years he has lived here, he would have realized that the library board has been in search of a site for over a decade. The Park Avenue site becoming available was a real gift.

Sandra Baumgardner


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Reader Comments

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Jill Hermann  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 4:36 PM

Because of poor planning 30 years ago we are tearing down a library. I fear because of poor planning today we may be putting kids in a dangerous situation. Not sure what the solution is, but the traffic concerns Marc McCann has brought up needs to be seriously addressed and not discounted.

Joe Bellows  

Posted: October 29th, 2019 6:31 AM

Does everyone know its 2019 and We can fit the entire Library of Congress on my fingernail for about $5.... If you want a community center FINE.. call it that.. but please realize its not 1950 anymore and libraries are far less important than they used to be.....

Mark McCann  

Posted: October 23rd, 2019 9:38 PM

Sandra, I enjoyed our conversation that evening. My wife and I do support the library being relocated to our block. We know it will be a great resource for our children. I had absolutely no objections to the library's plan and was a vocal supporter of the referendum, that changed once I saw the ridiculous traffic study that was first submitted. As someone that has worked in real estate development for many years, I also understand the impact of poor planning, and that is exactly what is happening. The new library will feature meeting space for 110 people and only 22 parking spaces (5 or 6 will be occupied by library staff.) Our street cannot handle the existing traffic and parking in its current condition, let alone handle all of the overflow traffic and parking due to an inadequate amount of parking in the current plan. The intersection, as many noted, can be extremely dangerous and confusing - and this was even noted in the 2nd traffic study. My 6 year old son gets on and off the bus at that intersection every day. There is NOTHING in the library's current plan that deals with these issues, as is required. Instead of trying to gain the trust of their neighbors, the library's leadership has tried to discredit us instead. They continued to use unqualified engineers in violation of state law, potentially putting public safety in jeopardy, despite numerous opportunities to hire a qualified and credible firm. This isn't just poor planning, this is bad government at the expense of the taxpayers. I am not to blame for these issues - TADI and the library's architect were negligent and tainted this entire process. The library was a victim of their negligence, yet the library's leadership became willing participants in their negligence when they retained TADI's services for the 2nd study. I don't have an issue with the library's location but I do have an issue with its leadership and their willful neglect of state laws that protect the public.

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