The hottest election issue in Manchester seems to be the ballot question on the proposed Mary Cheney Library expansion. I’m biased in favor of the expansion and will vote YES, but I think the pro-expansion side presented a more rational, informative argument. I hope voters study the flier mailed to all by the “Imagine Your Library” group to see the minimal impact the expansion will have on the Park. You can also view the plan on the Town Website (http://library.townofmanchester.org/documents/ProposedLibrary).
The Save the Parkers appear to be relying on hyperbole, emotional arguments and misinformation (e.g. the claim that Whiton will close).
That’s OK, that’s democracy – arguments have been made on both sides. Voters are intelligent enough to see through the fog. The issues have been examined. Now it’s up to the voters. But not if the Save the Parkers had their way. They made a lame attempt to get the ballot question squashed on a technicality- complaining that the word "beautify" promotes a yes vote. After having their say (ad nauseum) at Board of Directors meetings, letters to the editor and waving signs at the corner of Main and Center, the opponents are not content to let the voters decide the issue on election day. They don’t want a library in Center Park, period. They would rather win on a technicality than risk allowing voters to approve it.
I still think their message has been deliberately misleading. “Save the Park” implies that the expansion would ruin or destroy the park as we know it. In truth, only 8/100’s of an acre will be lost - the Park will not only be saved but “beautified” and a new library will be gained.
Of course the opponents know that argument has been neutralized with the revised plan, so now they ask “Park Where?”
That’s a legitimate question and deserves an explanation. Just follow the directions in “The Idiots Guide to Library Parking.” Park in one of the 50 spots in front of the Library and on both sides of Main Street (by the Park that will be saved) as people have been doing for 75 years, or, if you go at a busy time, park in one of the new spaces on Linden Street or next to the fire station. Cross the street when you see the little white pedestrian figure on the traffic signal. It will be easy. Your only worry is to watch out for cars driven by library opponents.
There’s been enough debate – the voters will decide. Of course, I can’t see how anyone could be so thick that they don’t see the compromise plan as a win/win for all. But that’s me.
Look at the facts and get out to vote on November 6.