I grew up in another county, but I jokingly referred to Milledgeville and Baldwin county as “the nearest civilization.” It was the nearest shopping, nearest dining, and the nearest large library. Today as a resident, the behavior I see from the city and county governments is anything but civilized. Mary Vinson library is being held hostage like a human shield in a western shootout.
I understand there is more to the agreement than just library funding. I understand jurisdictional agreements for water delivery are important. But, those issues pale in comparison with the resources the library provides. The Service Delivery Strategy expiration was not an unforeseen circumstance. This is not a surprise to anyone.
What is a surprise is how willing the county is denying its citizens vital resources. The library is not a luxury. It is where children continue learning over the summer. It is where a job seeker can have access to online resources and applications. It is where hobbies are built, relationships are formed, and the community becomes the best it can be. It is where ignorance is destroyed and citizenship is built.
It is not a resource to be used as a pawn in a political game of chess. It is not a sacrifice to make for brinkmanship. It is not a tool to achieve an end.
Fulfill your responsibility and come to an agreement that fully funds the library. You were elected to represent this community and tend to their interests. Ignoring that responsibility will not be tolerated.
Daniel R. Simpson, MPA