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A Very Public Project

Posted on 03 April 2008

As controversial as the John Jermain Memorial Library project has been historically, as it begins a new cycle, we are pleased to see its board does so with transparency as a prority.

This week, library board president Christiane Neuville showed she is taking great pains to make the restoration of the current library and the creation of a new building a process that is open and accessible to the community. She equally prodded her fellow board members to share their own personal thoughts on the proposals. She encouraged and urged the scant few civilians who came to listen Monday afternoon, to express themselves, and become part of the discussion. No one on the board budged until each and every query was answered.

For this we applaud her leadership and those on the library board who shared their thoughts publicly. We hope the few who declined to do so understand the importance of this transparency in the future and let the people of Sag Harbor know their thoughts and impressions on an undoubtedly significant proposal. After years of debate it is time every one put their cards on the table each and every step of the way.

Kudos for the library board aside, the public poorly attended the meeting this week, which is a shame. Outside of the proposed Bulova Watchcase Factory, this project has stirred the most debate in this village, becoming one of the most controversial issues the village has dealt with over the past five years. It is beholden to the public to involve themselves in this discussion. If Monday night’s meeting is any indication, it is clear the public is intended to be an equal partner, if in fact not the greatest stakeholder, in the future of Sag Harbor’s library. It is now time for them to claim that stake. 

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