Libraries and Budgets Plus a Complement
Last time I wrote about my struggle to convince the Town Board to fund our public library’s total operations budget. Here’s the good news right in the first paragraph: the Board voted to fund it.
A public forum accompanied the final vote because the Board also had to vote on a one-cent tax increase. The forum had been advertised for two weeks. I was ready. Our newspaper had run point/counter point articles written by me and by my lead opponent. Our social media campaign was successful and garnered much support. I had fresh information to support my request and five years’ experience requesting money from this Board.
Plus, my husband, one daughter, and one son sat with me for the over-two-hour meeting.
After much discussion with me answering questions and sharing data, research, and personal testimonies, a motion that died on the table and many, many head shakes and frowns, the vote came down to two for and two against funding the library’s full budget. The mayor broke the tie in favor of the library.
I experienced two disappointments that night.
I really wanted a 4-0 vote. Not being able to convince two people that funding the library is the Town’s responsibility is frustrating, but I’ll take the 3-2 vote…and the money, too.
I also wanted people from the community to show up to support the library, but not one other person attended the public forum. Yes, I received a few texts from people who wanted to come but couldn’t, and those meant a lot. Believe me. But still. No one else?
So I arrived home after the meeting with tempered joy. During our play-by-play of the meeting, my daughter says, “Mom, you were a bad a** tonight.” She shocked my shoes off with that subject complement for two reasons.
First, she’s not supposed to use language like that.
Second, no one’s ever called me that before. I’ve heard sweet before and nice, too. But bad a**? No. And guess what?
I kind of liked it.
If I get to be a bad a** for the library, so be it. If I get to lobby for books and reading and for people who need a place to apply for college and jobs and for people who want a place to experience learning, I say, “GREAT!”
Yes, I’ll be a bad a** for the library.