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Shutesbury Seeks Help Building New Library

The small western Massachusetts town of Shutesbury is looking for help to build a new public library in the town. The town’s current library is housed in a 110-year-old building and is just 900 square feet and has no running water.

Last month the town came together to create a video that not only shows off the exterior and interior of the old building, but also showcases the people of the town.


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  • Mvendette

    Correction on Shutesbury Library.
    522 townspeople voted against this project 3 times only to have the people counting the votes sued by those 522 in favor. This whole thing will go to court in April 2012 and has already cost the town money to protect those counting the votes.
    Please report the facts and include both sides of this issue which has torn this town apart.

    • Crataegus

      Aren’t the people who are against the library actually suing the Town, who has then to hire an attorney to defend their position….? If you’re going to ask for the whole truth, please represent the whole truth.
      “Torn this town apart?” The town has not been”torn apart”. We have people working out their differences of opinion in mostly civil, legal, ways.  What more could you ask for? It is easy to say “no” to something. Much harder to build up a plan for a library from scratch, take years to do it, invite the public to get involved, and then watch 1/2 the town say “no” because for the most part they’d rather not pay the extra money, thank you.  You cannot be surprised at the others’ spirit – for you have it too. We’re all Shutesburians! 

      • Mvendette

         The pro-library people were the first to hire a lawyer from Boston and also another from Shutesbury and filed a lawsuit against the three registrars who counted the votes. Shutesbury will have to go to court to defend the registrars. The town lawyer is defending the registrars. 522 people have felt from the beginning that the library/community center proposed was too big, too expensive and way beyond what Shutesbury needs. It’s size is much larger and twice as expensive than several new  Librarys  close to Shutesbury.

        • Anonymous

          At the last election on Jan 10, the library was approved 523 to 522.

          At that point the library opponents hired well-known local lawyer Alan Seewald (recently appointed city solicitior for Northampton) and pertitioned for a recount.

          At the recount Alan got the registrars to invalidae one of the votes resulting in a tie vote.

          Only then did the library supporters hire a lawyer to file a complaint with the Superior court seeking to uphold the recent election by properly counting the votes.

          The complaint is against the board of registrars and challenges the decisions the board made in three of the challenges they ruled on during the recount.

          The challenges the board of registrars ruled on during the recount were challenges as to whether the voter is properly registered in Shutebury.

          The appeal asks the judge to make decisions on the following three challenges.

          The board of registrars did not uphold the challenges to two NO voters, Richard and Joan Paczkowsk.

          Richard and Joan Paczkowski bought a house in Florida in 1989, have repeatedly voted since then in Florida in national and primary elections. Joan registered to vote in Florida on February 26, 1990, Richard registered to vote in Florida on June 12, 1998. They list themselves as Florida residents on state and federal income tax returns. Richard and Joan have their motor vehicles registered in Florida and Florida drivers licenses. In addition they put their Shutesbury home up for sale on Dec 6, 2011.

          However the board of registrars decided to uphold the challenge to YES voter Christopher Buck.

          Christopher and Jessica Buck still owns a home in Shutebury which they are renting out however Chris moved to Kentucky to find work. Chris was briefly registered to vote for 36 days in Kentucky from Dec 21, 2011 to January 25, 2012. As I understand it Kentucky has a motor-voter registration law and  when Chris recently got a driver license in Kentucky he inadvertently became registered.

          I don’t understand the basis for the board of registrars decisions in these challenges.

          If the Judge in Superior Court upholds the board of registrars judgement that Chris is not a properly registered Shutesburyvoter then I fully expect a judgement that the Paczkowski’s are also not properly registered Shutebury voters.

          I think it’s important for the results of the election to both be valid and been seen as valid.

          I fully support this appeal to have a Judge who is most likely quite experienced in the details of election law make these determinations.

          I live in Shutesbury and am using my real name to post under.

  • Mvendette

    Maybe some of the pro-library supporters have trouble understanding that not everyone in Shutesbury is in a position to keep having their taxes increased. There are many who are hard-working and do support libraries and always have but this plan is way out of line considering we already have a wonderful school library.

    • Anonymous

      The school library is NOT a library for the town — you’re either being disingenuous or clueless.

      I live in Shutesbury and am using my real name to post. If you believe in what you say why aren’t you using your real name?

      On a local email list a resident asked:

      “If 50% of the town is opposed, is that truly a community project?”

      I think it is a community project because it will be a great new library.

      I think it is a community project because it will have very nice new meeting rooms and gathering space for people to use.

      I think it is a community project because we’ve already raised almost $200,000 in private donations.

      I think it is a community project because many people are thinking of creative ways to raise more private money to offset all of our tax costs.

      I think it is a community project because the building committee will be town residents.

      I think it is a community project because we’ll be able to use volunteer labor as part of the building process to help further reduce the costs.

      I think it is a community project because it will benefit everybody in town by increasing the value of their property whether they use the library or not.

      I think it is a community project because by increasing the value of people’s property folks will have more home equity to borrow against if they need to.

      I think it is a community project because in 40 years when I am most likely dead and folks in town will have a hard time even remembering when the library bond was finally paid off people will be greatly enjoying the library and will appreciate all the work we did to create it.

  • Anonymous

    I put together this web page to show the tax consequences of approving the new library: http://deanbrook.org/new-library/library-fund-raising-movie.html

    $191,564 have been raised in private donations to offset costs to the local taxpayer.

    The average property in Shutesbury is valued at $243,814/

    If NO more private funds were raised the average property in Shutesbury, valued at $243,814 would incurr an additional average tax liability of $89.30 over the 22 year term of the short and long term loans.

    If the library supporters meet their initial goal of raising $400,00 then the average cost per year would be $73.68.

  • Anonymous

    Since video went viral donations from: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

    In the US donations from 38 states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA and WI.

    The donations vary in size from $2 to $250.

    This morning the total was over $9,660!


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