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Choices Go Beyond Selectmen and School Committee on Election Ballot

For whatever reason, the Board of Library Trustees seems to get overlooked when the local media – the Town Crier included – covers the annual town election.

Maybe the trustees aren't considered as important as the Board of Selectmen or School Committee are, but they nonetheless govern the management of the town's public library.

Four people are running this year for the two, three-year seats that are available: John Byrnes is seeking re-election and Rory D'Alessandro wants to return to the board once served on. Christine Crean and Jessica Espinoza are newcomers who would like to get involved. Please remember to vote for two of them on April 5.

So, what does a library trustee do? According to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), "Trustees are library advocates and leaders in developing service willingly, responsibly and creatively for all members of the public." The MBLC defines trustees' duties as:

• "Employing a qualified library director and understanding the director's roles and responsibilities;

• Setting service-oriented library policies which uphold the principles of equal access to information and the free exchange of ideas;

• Guiding the management and maintenance of library facilities and assets and expending financial resources judiciously;

• Working to secure an appropriate funding level for facilities, technology, hours of operation, collections and staff;

• Knowing and observing applicable municipal, state and federal laws and regulations ;

• Working with the community to identify information needs and to develop and implement a written plan for the maintenance and improvement of library services; and,

• Seeking and applying resources and training which expand trustee skills"

The MBLC provides a "Public Library Trustees Handbook" online which elaborates on all the duties and responsibilities trustees have.

Other interesting and little looked-at elected people include the Trustees of Vernon Grove Cemetery and constables. Like all other boards, commissions and committees, these folks also are governed by various rules and regulations.

On a different note, it's nice to see that the Milford Regional Medical Center is working to correct some issues of importance – not just to the handicapped and disabled community, but to all using its facilities.

Many people leaving the medical center and its related facilities after treatment are recovering from everything ranging from a dose of some form of anesthesia to having chemotherapy to having a limb set in a cast – which temporarily makes them at less than "100 percent." They benefit as well from handicapped-compliant facilities.


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