2018-01-11 / Editorial

Town, library trying to build closer ties

The town council and library board of trustees are placing the finishing touches on an agreement that better clarifies the two entities’ relationship.

Since the town’s charter and state law lay out contradictory views of that bond, those conflicting impressions sometimes have created operational issues in the past that have spawned concerns both sides felt needed to be addressed formally.

Clearer lines of dialogue always are preferred, especially in a matter, such as this one, where legal ambiguity exists.

A subcommittee of both boards has been meeting to hash out those disagreements in a formal document that elucidates the “policies and procedures that govern communication and interaction between the trustees and town administration.” These protocols cover an array of circumstances, including personnel, operations, maintenance, budgeting and communications.

While the final draft of the two-page document is not yet complete, the fact both sides are taking the high road to work out their differences and ensure a more cordial and better-coordinated relationship is something to be applauded. It would have done neither side any good to draw lines in the sand and potentially escalate their respective legitimate concerns beyond the current point.

Now that the library board has abandoned its $5 million expansion project, the two sides will be partners in making repairs to the North Road site’s roof, basement and other dilapidated items via the town’s capital improvement plan.

The trustees also plan to start drawing up a new renovation plan. Based on how that plays out, the financial ties between the town and library very well may deepen. If that’s to be the case, all the more reason to have a solid foundation of trust and understanding already in place upon which to build that larger bond.

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