By KEVIN NEVERS
Chesterton Town Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st, has issued a call to arms to
all users of the Westchester Public Library (WPL).
At the council’s meeting Monday night, Ton took a moment at the end of the
meeting to urge Westchester Township residents to write their state
legislators to complain about a proposed move to consolidate library systems.
At stake, he said, is the very existence of the WPL as we know it, one of the
most beloved institutions in Duneland.
“Combining the WPL with larger county libraries is another example of trying
to fix something that is not broken. Our libraries are not just places to
check out books. They are social centers for the Duneland community. Reading
programs, tutoring, special presentations, crafts, free movies in the park
and at Hageman Library, and public computer access are but a few examples of
the advantages which are now endangered by a misdirected initiative that
would take the management of our libraries away from us. We have lost enough
local control, and enough is enough. WPL provides untold services to adults
and children of the community and must remain under local control.
“I have written my local legislators. Will you?”
The Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform (ICLGR) is currently
studying ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local
government, and one of its possible recommendations could be the
consolidation of smaller library systems with larger ones, like the WPL with
the Porter County Library.
On Monday the ICLGR held a public input session at Indiana University
Northwest in Gary.
One good place to speak with your state legislators would be at the
Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s legislative breakfast at 7:30 to
9:30 a.m. Oct. 19 in the conference center of the Duneland School
Corporation’s Administration Building at 601 W. Morgan Ave.
The council took receipt of an invitation to the breakfast on Monday.
A complimentary continental breakfast will be served, followed by a preview
from state legislators, along with an opportunity for questions and answers.
If you are planning to attend, please RSVP so that everyone can be
accommodated for breakfast. Call the Chamber at 926-5513.
By consensus members authorized both Duneland Pop Warner and Duneland Xtreme
Sports to hold tag days on Oct. 27, so long as each group does not encroach
on the fundraising areas of the other. Duneland Xtreme Sports will be
soliciting donations at the corners of Indian Boundary Road and Plaza Drive,
and South Calumet Road and Porter Ave.
Members did not want to deny either one a tag day, Duneland Pop Warner
because it was already forced to re-schedule its tag day once after a
conflict with another group, and Duneland Xtreme Sports because it has
numerous other activities planned for Oct. 27.
Members did acknowledge that two groups soliciting donations on the same day
might find the pickings a little thinner than they would if each had its own