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No one will step up

Friday, July 19, 2013 - Updated: 6:04 PM

Dear Editor,

As president of the Board of Trustees of the CVW Long Lake Public Library, I would like to congratulate our staff and volunteers on their hard work during our transition to taxpayer-funded public library status. I am proud that we have operated in an open, professional and efficient manner, and believe the institution is stronger than ever.

My experience at the library gives me hope for Long Lake. Unfortunately, other interactions I've witnessed in this community have not been so encouraging.

Over the last few years I have been privy to multiple cases of what I consider unprofessional and even unethical behavior by administrators of both the Long Lake Health Center and Long Lake Central School. But my view is apparently not widely shared; when brought to the attention of their respective governing bodies, the behavior goes unpunished or is even defended by board and vocal community members.

It also seems that few in Long Lake share my values when it comes to public service in community governance. In order to prosper, towns, libraries and schools must be guided by boards made up of competent and enthusiastic community members. Something is wrong when competitive elections are the exception rather than the rule; when fully qualified citizens refuse to run, election after election; when not one person picks up a petition to run for an open school board seat, as occurred in 2011 and again just this past month; when a long-serving library board member, who has already done far more than their share, reluctantly agrees to serve yet another term because no one else will step up.

One might wonder why such a community thinks they deserve a school or a library. I believe in the library's mission, staff and patrons, but I am not inclined to continue serving a community that I now understand does not share my values.

This realization has helped spur my family's decision to relocate outside the district, and I am resigning from the CVW Long Lake Public Library Board of Trustees. I wish the Long Lake Library staff and patrons all the best.

Steve Signell

Long Lake

     

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