Commission, library finally on same page
After a period of weeping and gnashing of teeth, the Morgan County Commission last week approved level funding for the Decatur Public Library.
Although commissioners and library Director Sandra Sherman-McCandless didn't take the most direct or amicable route toward agreeing on an appropriation of $89,000, the parties are to be congratulated for achieving a favorable result.
Hopefully, all parties involved will take away some lessons from the monthlong turmoil.
Ms. Sherman-McCandless may have learned a bit about the art of effective politicking in the process. Her hard-line approach in insisting on continued funding rubbed many commissioners, and some constituents, the wrong way.
Commissioners may have discovered that they underestimated the groundswell of public support for the library. People place a great value on these public repositories of accumulated knowledge.
A letter-writing campaign by library supporters, which sometimes conveyed inappropriate remarks, added fuel to the fire. Confusion about the possible loss of federal and state matching funds didn't help clarify the issue, either.
But good sense prevailed in the end. The Decatur library will disburse almost $9,000 of its appropriation to libraries in Priceville, Eva and Falkville, leaving it with more than $80,000 after the distribution.
Let's hope that next year's appropriation discussion is more cordial.