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Public Deserves to Know What's Happening Behind the Scenes with the New Glarus Public Library Issue


August 9, 2018

Dear Editor,

The time has come to shed light on the misleading and dubious tactics repeatedly employed by the New Glarus library board, in its quest for a new library facility. The public deserves to know what has gone on behind the scenes, before millions in current and future taxpayer money is put on the line. What follows are a few examples, to highlight our concerns:

* A traffic flow map, supporting the Highway 39 location as business friendly, presented to the village board by the library board, for which no supporting data was available.

* A “survey” of New Glarus businesses, conducted by a library board sub-committee: the library board could not provide survey questions or methodology, and admitted that the “survey” consisted only of “conversations” and paraphrased “responses.”

* Another survey, conducted this year, to gauge the importance of various library services and of the library itself, to the community: the survey allowed each individual to submit multiple responses. Furthermore, the library board first omitted 25% of survey responses and later omitted 19% of responses, in both instances creating artificially favorable results. This manipulated data was presented to the village board, in search of the village board’s endorsement and, ultimately, taxpayer funding and public land for the library project. 

* In a June 26th meeting, the library board president confirms, on video, that she believes the end (a new library) justifies the means that the library board has employed. We find this admission and attitude disturbing, to say the least.

* On July 10th, the library board president and a village board/library board trustee over-stated official fundraising results by more than $75,000, in a slide-show presentation to a local trade group, while seeking support from local business owners. 

Based on these and other events, we believe it is time for the New Glarus village board to take definitive action to replace the current library board with new community leaders. The people of New Glarus deserve a library board that will deal with us openly and honestly on this important project, before millions of property tax dollars are spent in the present and future, on the construction, maintenance and operation of a new library.

For a more detailed version of this letter, please email


Tom Myers, former President, Village of New Glarus

Greg Thoemke, former Trustee, Village of New Glarus

Laci Bainbridge, former Trustee, Village of New Glarus

Eric Gobeli, former Trustee, Village of New Glarus 

Ben Kahl, former Trustee, Village of New Glarus


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