Shame on all of us.
Effectively, we have lost our libraries. In a community ravaged by poverty and a striking illiteracy rate, our elected officials, the people you and I chose to make these decisions to lead our community, are taking away one of the most important and vital resources to our children and to our future.
Is this because the library is a line item taking up too much money? No. Is this because the money funding the library is needed for some emergency cause that our community desperately needs? No. Has the library system done something morally wrong that has shaken our conscious? Absolutely not. Simply put, the library is being used as nothing more than a hostage.
Currently, the bulk of the issue is that city and county officials find themselves squabbling over a few hundred water customers. We are losing our entire library system because county officials want more revenues. Nothing more, nothing less.
Our county officials aren’t concerned about making your community better. They’re not concerned about addressing any of the substantive issues our community faces. They’re not concerned about what they can do to better the everyday lives of citizens in Baldwin County. Their only concern is money and just like every single other elected official on the planet, they always want more of it, even if it means hurting the very people they were elected to help.
And don’t let any of them say this about leadership and making tough decisions. That’s a lie. They aren’t leading anything but their community’s continued failure and the matter at hand, the service delivery agreement, is now left up to a judge because of the failure of our leaders to reach an agreement. Seriously, think about that. The people we elected to make decisions, to LEAD us, so failed to live up to that charge that they had to send the matter to a non-elected official to make a decision on behalf of all of us.
You may ask, if this problem stems from the failed leadership of our county officials, then why shame on all of us? Because in the next election when the polls open, we’ll vote them right back in to continue receiving more of the same failing leadership. Shame on all of us for allowing it come to this point. Shame on all of us for what will come.
Samuel Culper III