Citizens Committee Works for Unity
In Library Millage Election Nov. 6
Volunteers Preparing Informational Campaign, Strategy to Engage Voters
September 9, 2007
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By: Dave Rogers
Intelligent, reasonable voting decisions?
All these are questions that need answering as a second library millage renewal campaign is underway.
The hour of decision is fast approaching. Voting on absentee ballots begins in just three weeks, Oct. 1.
A consistent theme overheard discussed in private conversations throughout this community relates to the question of whether voters will put aside nagging issues from the construction phase of the new Alice and Jack Wirt main library and renovations of Sage, Auburn and Pinconning libraries and decide that the common good requires approval of the millage.
A volunteer group, "Citizens to Keep Our Libraries Open," has been formed and is meeting to inform voters of the need to pass the reduced 1 mill renewal question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
This is a hands-on group, diligently stuffing envelopes with a fund-raising appeal while considering ways to run an effective campaign.
The committee meeting last week was hosted by Rev. Andreas Teich of Messiah Lutheran Church. Among volunteers at the meeting were Kim Coonan, chairman of the Bay County Commission, Mark Kaplenski, library trustee; and retired library system director Linda Heemstra.
Chairs of the group are Wanda Dziwura and Jerry Somalski and Darryl and Deborah Steiner; honorary co-chairs are Robert and Joyce Hetzler, Rob and Deb Monroe and Andreas and Tracy Teich. Stu Reid, CPA, of Weinlander, Fitzhugh CPAs, is treasurer.
The daunting task of engaging voters, especially those who will be voting absentee, is ramping up in the final eight weeks before the election.
The committee is working on identifying "yes" voters, endorsements, volunteers, fundraising, campaign literature, letters to the editor, publicity and an absent voter campaign.
Decisions are yet to be made on signs, friend-to-friend cards, a door-to-door canvass, get-out-the-vote telephone calls and other aspects of the campaign.
The outcome of local political questions often are hard to predict, and this issue is no different.
Will voters put aside their anger, fear and doubts and back this community resource?
Will absentee voters continue to vote "no" even though many do not pay taxes or will get tax exemptions?
Will the Bay City community stand up and show pride in a project that will serve youth with an educational resource?
Will this election reveal where we are going as a community that is in a transitional phase from the old industrial economy to a new economy based on communications, technology, tourism and other diverse elements?
Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen, and remember that it's your town to save and its your option whether to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
Does Bay City have community pride? We'll find out Nov. 6.
By the way, this is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Do you have a library card? If not, sign up for one this month. To find your nearest library, visit USA.gov's Libraries page and enter your ZIP code in the "Library Search" box.
Getting a library card is simple and allows you to borrow books, CDs, DVDs, and more. You can also benefit from the expertise of your local librarian whenever you have questions about doing research or using library resources.
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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