Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Middletown Library Brouhaha Over!

**UPDATE**Here is the "Daily News" article link. Here is the Projo link. Meaghan Wims at Projo writes, "John W. Grisham, chairman of the board of trustees, said in an e-mail to The Journal this week, 'We are very pleased with the AG’s findings and to be able to move forward from this. In the end, reason, common sense and the rule of law prevailed, for which we are thankful.'”

There was actually only one complaint filed with two issues. Again, I was told that the person spreading the rumor that I was set up to take over the Director's job as a reward for running for State Senate was - the Director.

The question was also put to me how people could buy into this rumor (though actually knowing who originated it & its content, the rumor becomes a LIE). You take a kernel of truth - I was a librarian & didn't have a job (retired) - then add in a person telling you this that you trust. And that's how that story went.

I wish someone had actually just asked me. I'm a straight shooter - what you see is what you get. I think the fact that I burst into laughter the first time I heard it pretty much sums up my thoughts on this. No, I'm not expecting any apologies and I doubt that the Library Trustees (or their former Council rep) are either. Still, it would be nice.

Attorney General throws out all charges

Definition of brouhaha: a confused disturbance far greater than its cause merits.

This brouhaha centered around the Library Trustees insisting on improved job performance with specific guidelines for the library Director. The Director then refused this requirement & ended up with a job buyout & resigning. These events were played up in gossip mode during the past election & with the reports of "Projo" and most esp. the "Daily News." In the burgeoning media circus, the Trustees themselves were handicapped by personnel confidentiality regs in releasing information. The Council then added even more fuel to the fire by calling for the resignation of all the Trustees.

Two complaints were filed against the Trustees by residents. One concerned the wording of postings & the other e-mails sent by Trustees. Both were debunked. Both were dismissed with "no merit." Notice of the second charge being thrown out was rec'd Mon. Wonder if the newspapers will print this?

The Middletown Democratic Town Committee was held responsible for all kinds of skullduggery when in fact the Committee never even discussed the topic. In fact, if you were to ask the former Chair about this episode, I reckon (he is a former Southerner) he'd pretty much give you a blank stare with a question mark above his head. But still, if you repeat an untruth often enough...

"No merit." That's what the Att'ny Gen'l said - TWICE. One might ask who was responsible for spreading all the rumors & WHY. The former Director who seemingly would have the most to lose, hoped to gain exactly what? And this was the only/best way to do it?

Recently a new Director was appointed - with a written contract & job specs. In the end all the verbiage about federal & state laws being flouted were all so much air in a now-deflated balloon.

But a Representative who no longer lives in his district is of little/no concern (ironically, the library is IN his district).

One might continue to ask the who's and why's for all of this. The truth is often buried in quips, repeated charges & phrases, and short sound/print bites. Sound familiar?

Once again, I applaud the Library Trustees & the former Council rep, Councilman Ed "The White Knight" Silveira, who did their job. That's it. They just did their job.

Now maybe we can attempt to solve problems of pollution, funding problems, & affordable housing, etc.
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