, Newburyport, MA

May 13, 2013

Letter writer wrong about cost to taxpayers of library

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Mr. Steven Nichols’ letter to the editor of The Daily News from Hampton, N.H., was, no doubt, well meaning, but unfortunately factually incorrect on several counts, but the most egregious error was Mr. Nichols’ statement that “ ... a $50 per tax bill increase for the next 20 years, as per Town Manager Neil Harrington’s dialogue,” will be in effect.

Mr. Harrington stated very clearly (perhaps a revisit to the SCTV broadcast of this interview is in order here) that if a resident of Salisbury owns property worth approximately $300,000, their tax bill would increase by about $50 for five years only. Looked at closely, this means that if you own a home in Salisbury that is valued at $170,000, your tax bill will increase approximately $16.67 a year for five years. On the other hand, if you own a house in Salisbury that is valued at approximately $600,000, your tax bill will increase about $100 for five years.

Mr. Nichols states that he is “crest-fallen” ... “with regard to this most critical issue presently before the town of Salisbury,” and while it’s heartening to know our Hampton, N.H., neighbors are deeply concerned with the Town of Salisbury and its problems, I believe that we are fully capable of making sound decisions within our own community.

The last thing I feel duty bound to explore is Mr. Nichols’ criticism of the new library’s proposed size. While it does, on the face of it, seem a very big leap, this was not a size that the library director or the town officials pulled out of thin air. A close study of the population’s needs, now and projected, for the next 20 years by the Middlesex Board of Library Commissioners gave us (after a thorough analysis) the number of appropriate square feet for the building proportionate to its demographic needs. Ron Laffely, a local Salisbury patron and architect, came by the library for a tour of the plans recently and stated very clearly that he actually thought that the library meeting room, which is planned to hold 100 people, may be far too small!

The library director, Terry Kyrios, and I invite any resident of Salisbury to come by the library for a tour and an informational visit. The library hours are Monday, 10-6, Tuesday, noon-8, Wednesday and Thursday, 10-6. We welcome dialogue and encourage anyone who isn’t sure how they feel about the new library to come to the library and give us the opportunity to answer any questions they have.

Our citizenry will be making their final decision at Town Meeting on May 20 at the Salisbury Elementary School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. We invite all registered voters to participate in this crucial vote and we are looking forward to being able to serve the needs of our community with our beautiful new building if we get the necessary two-thirds vote.

Jeannette Emma Lazarus

Trustee chair, Salisbury Public Library