Letter: Trust in Town Leaders Withering with Increased Jones Spending


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 The following letter was sent to the Amherst Town Council on May 30, 2024.

My name is Lyons Witten, living in Precinct One and a resident taxpayer. My children grew up avid Amherst library users and we hold all libraries in high esteem. The Jones Library system has long supplied us all with extensive, high-quality, educational and cultural materials and programs. 

I have followed the saga involving the redevelopment/ expansion of the Jones Library and conclude that we need to stop the current plan which is not feasible. Surging ahead with blinders intact is counter-productive, even wasteful. We have spent way too much money already on design, and the projected cost is still skyrocketing. 

We need a flexible, adaptive approach that does not leave the rest of the Town needs by the wayside. 

It is my desire to see the Jones Library building fully repaired but with a plan to reconfigure the available spaces – with the benefit of new high -tech means—keeping in line with budget realities. This importantly implies renouncing the request for an extension from the State. 

Amherst taxpayers and library users expect and deserve that our leadership make a commitment to take the responsible path. Currently our trust in the leadership and judgement of the Town in this regard is faltering. We need to get back to meeting the Town’s basic and crucial needs. It’s past time for all to get and to stay real ! 


Lyons Witten 

Lyons Witten is a resident of Amherst’ s District 1

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