Commentary: Vote Yes To Support Our Libraries

October 25, 2017
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While it is imperative for voters to cast their ballots for all candidates they feel will continue to bring outstanding government to Monmouth County and its municipalities, careful attention should also be paid to the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act, the first question on the ballot. A yes vote here will provide $125,000,000 for construction and renovation projects throughout the state on a matching basis with the library itself.

The goals of the bond issue are to continue to upgrade public library facilities, a goal that has been paramount to the Monmouth County Library Commission since its inception. Routine upkeep and continued improvements to keep up with the newest technology are necessary to meet community needs and strengthen the state’s economy through the creation of opportunities for New Jersey businesses.

A Yes vote on the bond issue will provide state funding for needed infrastructure repairs and updates to library facilities, including bringing libraries into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA) renovating library facilities, and providing technology upgrades.

The Monmouth County Library Commission has already moved ahead in its continuing successful aim to keep our county libraries the pride of the state, if not the nation. Approval of Question 1 would enable the state to bear a portion of the overall cost to Monmouth County taxpayers, and free up other funds for the Commission to continue its strident move forward.

When it comes to education and creating a library which is truly a community center, as the Monmouth County Library has long since proven it is, partisanship is not an issue. Both the Assembly and Senate approved the legislation authorizing the funding with overwhelming support. It is now up to the voters to complete the bipartisan action which will help keep our libraries, and libraries throughout the state, the center of education, culture and entertainment they are designed to be.

Don Burden Mayor,  Borough of Shrewsbury
Secretary, Monmouth County Library Commission
Member, Monmouth County Historic Commission

This opinion article was first published on the Commentary page in the Oct. 19-26, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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