Candidates’ Night: Video plus Trustees highlights

by beth on May 3, 2018

Southborough Access Media posted to YouTube the video from Candidates’ Night at the Library (above). That means you can see for yourselves what candidates for all three races had to say.

But, since I shared local media’s highlights of two of the races this morning, it seems only fair to write about the third. (Especially since, that board is the one that puts on Candidates’ Night for the public!)

Three Southborough women are running for two seats on the Board of Trustees for the Library.

Last night, incumbent Nicole Debonet told the audience that with three capable candidates, voters couldn’t go wrong. Still, she asked for voter support to continue her role on the board which she has served for five years. The Trustee said her strength was numbers. She helped to organize the Library’s budget and continues to help keep spending on track each year. She also served on the subcommittees to find and hire the current Library Director and to acquire furniture.

Candidate Kimberly Regan explained that she was first moved to run when she learned that a spot might be left vacant on the Board. She sees “tremendous value in maintaining the Library as a strong, vibrant and accessible resource, as well as a key central gathering place for community members of all ages.” Having attended recent Trustees meetings, she was impressed by members’ preparation. She said she was up to date on the issues they’ve been discussing and “willing to role up my sleeves to contribute my strengths as a critical thinker and creative problem solver”.

Candiate Mary Walter reported that 68% of residents have Library cards. She said the only other service in Town that gets that level of registration are Transfer Station stickers. She spoke of the importance of the Library in supporting the Town’s successful education system. She said she felt compelled when she learned about the federal administration’s decision to slash funding for libraries. She followed, “the position of the Southborough Library will be even more challenged to guarantee its quality of lending and the programs it provides.”

Both Debonet and Regan referred to the importance of the Library to their Children. And Walter told the audience she was willing to dedicate her expertise and time “to preserve what the Southborough Library has given to me and so many families.”

Former Library Trustee Jane Smith asked the candidates about potential building projects and their future vision for the Libary building.

Debonet said that Trustee think about the future of the physical Library. They are discussing if renovations are possible. They have as a group and individuals visited other libraries to see what they would like to see at the current Library or a future one. Regan said that her understanding is that looking at a design/planning phase to investigate possibilities is a couple years out. She believes they will need to evaluate the needs of the community. She followed that a feasibility study will look at all of the options – renovating, adding on to, or finding additional sites. Walter agreed that she hoped they would expand as the needs of the community do.

For more on each candidate, you can check out their letters, here.

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