It seems the good faith of the Falmouth Memorial Library is on the line, as the basis that taxpayers voted in 2014 to support its then equally shared expansion funding request is going out the Town Council’s window.
Excerpts from the Memorandum of Understanding define what voters, in good faith, agreed to (and I, for one, expected would protect my vote from exactly what is happening):
“… In no event shall the Town’s financial responsibility for the Library Project exceed $2,810,000. … If the Library Project Cost exceeds $5,620,000, then the Library’s share shall be the Library Project Cost less $2,810,000 plus 100 percent of the costs associated with change order. … In the event the library is unable to raise its share, the project could go forward with a modified design in keeping with existing funds provided the Town’s share would not exceed 50 percent of the reduced cost.”
John Edwards’ recent letter dubbed the library a “symbiotic affiliate” of the town. Such an amorphous relationship is no longer acceptable as we approach, and will likely exceed, 80 percent funding of a $6 million facility. Defined accountability is long overdue.
Library “management” rotates. Do we know: How often and by how much annual fundraising falls short of goal? If an angel trust enabled that goal year over year via a $25,000 anonymous donation? What future operating costs will do to that goal?
Are we not at the most critical juncture to make the library a town entity with the board as advisers?