Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Why Did BAWG Report Exclude HARB & Library Boards

At the end of the BAWG report, there is a yearly calendar which lists the various township boards, month by month. Now I didn’t go through each board on the township to see if it is listed but I know there are at least 2 boards that didn’t make the cut — Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) and the Library Board. For the BAWG volunteers that put the calendar together, I am sure that they would simply view it as an oversight. However, for the volunteers who serve on these boards they may feel slighted.

I understand that to some people preservation of our historic resources may not be as important as other township boards such as Zoning, Pension Trustees, Municipal Authority, etc. But for people like myself who serve on HARB and have done so for many years, it is just as important to the landscape of this community. I often joke that on any budget, whether it is federal, state or county budgets that historic preservation is the last item on the budget and is the first item off the budget. Guess in the case of the BAWG report, it never got in the report! Just for the record, the HARB board meets monthly, 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Township Building.

Then we have the Library Board and its absence on BAWG’s township calendar. Unlike HARB, the library does have much mention in the text of the report – with suggestions for reduction in book and equipment purchases, reduction in operating hours, staff reductions, etc. For many people, particularly seniors, living in our community the Tredyffrin Library and the Paoli Library are their life blood to the outside world. I continue to be concerned about the future of our libraries with the diminishing services. Please take the time to read the section of the BAWG report about the Paoli Library and its future. As a board member of Paoli Business & Professional Association (PBPA) I know how many people depend on this community library. Many of the people that use the Paoli Library are in a different income bracket than those that visit the Tredyffrin Library. The Paoli Library visitors may not have computers at home and depend on the library and the use of the computers. The Library Board is another township board whose volunteers work tirelessly trying to juggle the budget constraints with programming demands, operational challenges, etc. For the record, the Library Board meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month, rotating between Tredyffrin and Paoli Library.

As I said, I didn’t check the BAWG monthly calendar for each of the township boards so there may be others that did not make it in to the report. But for HARB and Library Board members, thank you for your service and contribution to the community.

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