Something very special happened last week. It was something I have not seen before.
The Brazil Public Library Board unanåimously decided to yield to the wishes of community members who were very vocal on social media and those who took the time to show up for the monthly board meeting.
The issue involved a dåecision made months ago to gate and lock the library’s parking lot.
The board patiently listened to statements made by well-behaved residents and then voted unanimously to not lock the gate on the fenced-in parking lot again.
Months ago, Judge Joseph Trout told the city council he missed the pre-school Christmas program a year ago because he stood at the gate and warned people not to park in the library parking lot or their cars would be locked inside the gate if the preschool program ran beyond the library closing time.
The grumbling about the matter remained fairly low level for several months until a woman attending a meeting at First Presbyterian Church left her vehicle in the parking lot. When the meeting ended, she found the gate closed and she could not remove her vehicle.
The event resulted in a firestorm on social media a few days before the library board was scheduled to meet.
I arrived about 20 minutes before the meeting was to begin and met Mike Taylor, the board president, a very nice, soft-spoken man.
He assured me the public was going to like a decision the board made that night.
“O-kaay,” I thought. “That could mean anything.”
I thought of meetings I had covered that turned ugly in other counties.
I thought of the township trustee meeting in another county that resulted in a fist fight between a board member and the township trustee’s husband.
I thought of the school board meeting in that same county where sheriff’s deputies stood at the front of the room, supposedly to protect the school board members who voted to close an elementary school in the district. That meeting could have resulted in a riot if not for the police presence.
I hoped that the meeting would be civil and productive.
What a pleasant surprise. Not that the people in attendance who were vocal “got their way,” but it was a beautiful example of what can happen when mature adults reason together, coming to a win-win conclusion.
The library board made people happy.
Hopefully, there will be no more vandalism to the parking lot. Kids had supposedly set off fireworks on the lot shortly after it was newly resealed.
Hopefully, people will feel more welcome at the library than some people had said they felt in the past.
Hopefully more people will use our beautiful library.
Hopefully, the library will be better financed so every resident of Clay County will be able to use it without paying money out of pocket for a library card.
Kudos to Mr Taylor, the library board and all those who got involved for positive change.
That’s how meetings should be conducted!