PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. -- The Putnam Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org .To the editor:
When voters go to the polls in Putnam Valley next week, they will turn over to the back of the ballot to find Proposition 1 -- a ballot initiative that, for the first time, will place the library's budget directly into the hands of the voters.
The Putnam Valley Library's survival is more important than ever, yet a small but vocal group of opponents has spread material that is rife with misinformation and the kind of scare tactics that have become all too emblematic of this oft-devoid-of-facts election season.
These opponents accuse the library of being not transparent, yet information has repeatedly been presented online and in a recent public forum that none of the nay-sayers bothered to attend.
The chief proponent of the "vote no" campaign, Dan Vera, has done nothing other than snipe from the sidelines -- never has he showed up at a monthly board meeting, which are open to the public.
Our board has recently added more concerned citizens to its ranks.
The criteria for being a board member are that one be a member of the Library (hold a current library card) and in good standing (no fines).
But Mr. Vera doesn't even meet those minimal criteria -- he claims to have a great appreciation for libraries, but he doesn't even hold a Putnam Valley Library card.
Vera also contends that under NYS Election Law (Sec. 414) you can never, ever lower the budget. There he goes again. You can absolutely go for a reduction or an increase in budget with the same process -- gathering petitions to get the resolution on the ballot and then through a referendum vote on Election Day.
The opponents of Proposition 1 claim that our plan is nothing but "taxation without representation." But what could be more small-d-democratic than "one person, one vote," which puts this decision directly into the hands of the voters, rather than a decision that can be made by as few as three members of the Town board?
That is why a yes vote on Putnam Valley's Prop 1 will help ensure the survival and growth of this all-too-important Town asset.
Terry Raskyn, Esq. Vice President, Board of Trustees
Gail S. Bennett Treasurer, Board of Trustees
Putnam Valley Library
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