Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Private library funding preferred

Thank you, Mr. Hallahan (Soundoff, June 5), for comparing Oak Harbor to some of the great cities of the world! But looking at this realistically, do you really think people from Europe will travel here to visit a new library? Do you even think that people from Seattle or Bellingham will rush here to see a new library?

I agree with you that "The Taj" didn’t fall from the sky but then again, it wasn’t built with taxpayers’ dollars either! Nor were most of the great churches and cathedrals of Italy and Germany. The Smithsonian was started with a legacy from James Smithson, a British mineralist and chemist! Victoria’s garden (Butchart Gardens, I presume) was - and is still a private business! These great sights were not started with taxpayers’ dollars!

From what I read in your column, Mr. Hallahan, you want to build a library to rival some of the great showplaces in the world. I have no problem with that, Mr. Hallahan, as long as you provide private funding and do not ask the taxpayers to make your fantasy dreams come true!

As for using the fact that the library replaced your “favorite chair” with a computer desk as a reason for building a large grandiose library, don’t you think it would be fairer to the citizens of Oak Harbor if you subscribed to your favorite magazine and curled up in your own cozy chair at home?

And finally, maybe I’m really old-fashioned, but I thought a library was a place where you check out books, do research or look up information. But you want to turn it into a viewing location with large expansive windows overlooking both the bay, so you can watch the seaplanes land, and see the magnificent Olympic Mountains, curled up in your favorite chair, no doubt. I would suggest that you stroll along Pioneer, stop and sit on the benches already provided, and look, and enjoy the fresh air at the same time!

As for thinking that a new library with a mountain and harbor view would get more people to shop downtown, I can’t see the logic there. Shops attract shoppers, not the library!

No, Mr. Hallahan, do not ask the taxpayers to support your dream! Many can’t afford their own dreams much less pay for yours. And if your dream came true, you would be back asking the taxpayers for even more money because no doubt, there would not be enough “cold, hard, cash and lots of it” to operate and maintain this dream facility.

Laura Bohaychuk

Oak Harbor

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