Library, school should consider taxpayers in card issue

What a great day for library and school attorneys’what a dark day for Brandon Township taxpayers.
Beginning this year Brandon Township Library officials now charge Groveland Township students who attend Brandon Schools $6 per card to use the facility. The request came after Groveland Township officials dumped a Dec. 1, 2003 proposal to up library collection to about $190,000 (consistent with Brandon Township residents) for about 2,400 library cards issued to Groveland residents.
The rate hike came after library officials considered the $25,000 paid each year by Groveland Township to the library insufficient given the use by residents.
Brandon School officials contest the $6 fee since the district donated the property where the library was built and feel students should be offered library services from an educational perspective. Officials assert the library’s proposal defeats the ‘spirit? of the contract.
Now–after months of debate, banter, and attempts on both sides to rectify the situation–a judge may ultimately decide the issue.
While the card fee issue is paramount for setting precedents, education of students, and goodwill between community entities, township taxpayers will end up writing checks in a losing scenario if the case moves forward.
Since the library collects taxes for operation, as does the school district, local taxpayers are paying for both sides of the dispute.
Given the recent budget crisis faced by both school board members and library officials, all parties involved need to consider and justify such legal actions.
While the results may seem worth the battle for participants the diminishing checkbook of the taxpayer must also be taken into consideration. School board members, like library board members, owe some accountability to taxpayers right or wrong.
Taxpayers can’t win here.