November 15, 2018  |  

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Smaller is Better

Published May 17, 2017

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It amazes me how wants become needs. Does Chester need a new or bigger library? No. Do some in certain circles want one? Yes. Why? It’s psychological, like when your neighbor has a greener lawn. We are a small town of a few thousand people; the beauty of that seems lost on many, especially those who moved here after losing faith in the growing towns from which they came—with growth comes problems, crime, and higher taxes, as has been proven from Branford, Guilford, and throughout the shoreline.

There is not one logical or intelligent reason for this town to grow or build a library. Both options are costly and not needed. Many see what larger towns have and want that. Large towns like Guilford use their library for afterschool day care, which is fine, but if you want what another town has, move there, don’t turn Chester into Guilford. One mile down the road is a large, multi-story building that is hardly used called the Deep River Library; this is one of the few places where regionalization is logical. Anyone can use any library in the nation and any book can be ordered, so it is unnecessary to spend millions of dollars on a want.

If times were different, I might not care, but this state has lost all fiscal accountability and is going to raise taxes every which way while gutting funds for all towns and cities. Essex and Deep River’s education budgets are climbing while ours is dropping, proof that smaller is better. This is not the time to spend recklessly, this is the time to be smart, wait, hold back, and focus on what we need. I’ll leave the trust fund issue alone for now.

Gene Bartholomew

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