Sunday, October 14, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Following is what I have submitted to our local (New Carlisle, Indiana) newspaper for insertion as a Letter to the Editor.

I also have a full page of options and alternatives that I am going to submit for further consideration to our Legislator and the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. That information will be posted as soon as it is ready.

October 13, 2007

To the Residents of New Carlisle, Olive Township and New Prairie United School Corporation:

I am writing to you regarding the charge given to the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. Charge number two to the Commission states: “What local units of government (including schools and libraries) might be successfully consolidated to reduce overhead and administrative expenses?” This charge means further consolidation of existing school corporations and the future consolidation of public libraries in the state into, potentially, county-wide or even regional systems.

Please be aware that these are my personal thoughts and not necessarily those of the Staff or Board of Trustees of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library.


Is a facility that is more than just a small town library. It is a true center of the community in every way. We worked for it, so why can’t we keep it?
Has an extremely strong and positive relationship with the New Prairie United School Corporation.
Has worked on joint grant opportunities with NPUSC that cost the taxpayers nothing, and had a very positive outcome.
Strongly promotes and proudly maintains a reciprocal borrowing agreement with the LaPorte County Public Library.
Is 100% owned and run by the community and is thus accountable to the TAXPAYERS of New Carlisle and Olive Township (no small challenge).

What could OUR COMMUNITY lose?

Local control and management of the library. We have worked hard to have put together an extremely strong, adaptable and beautiful facility that will reflect the qualities of our community for many years to come. Others, who have NO vested interest or even pay taxes! in OUR community, will be in control.

The reciprocal borrowing agreement with the LaPorte County Public Library could easily be canceled. That means people living immediately across County Line Road in LaPorte County will have to pay for a Public Library Access Card ($30.00 for 2007) or purchase a library card from what could be our new organization, the St. Joseph County Public Library, for $200 for a non-resident family card or $65 for a non-resident individual. Please consider the following link for additional information regarding additional fines and fees: This would certainly have a NEGATIVE impact on both students and educators in NPUSC because many may not be eligible for a card if the library were consolidated. I don’t want our kids to pay the price if our library were consolidated with another.

Many existing programs that are now offered and have been offered by the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library at Olive Township Elementary would be canceled because the people who do those programs will not be here.

Future joint cooperative grants such as the grant jointly secured by the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library for the automation of the Olive Township Elementary Library. The joint cooperation between the New Carlisle Public Library and the New Prairie United School Corporation is a model for other communities to follow. Together we can make anything happen! The New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library purposefully purchased the identical automated circulation that is now being used at NPUSC. It makes simple and practical sense for the students to utilize the same software at the library as they do at school. Show me what other library purposefully does this to support the school kids?

As an alternative to consolidation there are some cooperative efforts that I feel would be much more cost effective. Working along with the St. Joseph County Public Library, the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library and the Walkerton-Lincoln Township Public Library there is a substantial amount of money to be saved by grouping together for health insurance, building insurance and supplies to name just a few. I strongly feel that these would benefit all while retaining local control of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library and save our taxpayers even more money than what is being proposed by consolidation. The potential for positive outcomes without consolidation have definite potential and need to be explored and now is the perfect time. Consolidation, when looked at statewide, has the potential to cost the taxpayers millions while they are completely losing control of their small communities. Why is it that the simplest and least difficult ways of doing things in government are frequently the ones never done? Keep It Simple!

I feel a "cookie cutter" approach to solving tax issues will not work in our area. What works on the East Coast or in Indianapolis may not work here and this shortsightedness needs to be addressed prior to any legislation being pursued, let alone passed.

Our community and school corporation have learned that what works in one area of the state, or the nation for that matter, isn't necessarily what is best for all in our area and this sentiment needs to be made clear to our legislators prior to the next legislative session. Together, we have proven that cooperative ventures between the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library AND the New Prairie United School Corporation have not only saved the taxpayers money, but have provided many positive enhancements and benefits to our schools.

A pro-active approach to potential library consolidation and potential further school consolidation is a solid course to follow. Whether or not you agree with my opinion, you need to contact your respective legislators and let them know how you feel. Following is a link that will help you find whom to contact for your particular area: If you require additional assistance or would like to comment, please feel free to contact me at:

I have also created a personal blog at: I feel this information needs to be shared with other individuals, units of local government and school corporations in Indiana that serve rural areas as we are the ones who could be most negatively impacted. This would also be a perfect opportunity for students to write to their legislators and state their opinions. It is their generation who will feel the effects of what happens next.

All The Best
Stephen Boggs

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