OK, it is time for me to come clean and admit it.

I am a secret admirer of the person or persons who represent CALLOWAY COUNTY CONSERVATIVES FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY and who placed the advertisement in the Ledger & Times several times in the last couple of weeks promoting a common sense approach to building a modern library for our growing county.

This is the second time in a year that this person or group has given us an insight into the difference between real philosophical American Conservativism of the Edmund Burke and William Buckley variety and the scorched earth policies and egotistical behavior of the Tea Party folks who seem to be in the majority on the Murray-Calloway County Library Board.

Both us center-left liberals and real conservatives are in full agreement that “refusal to responsibly borrow for infrastructure is a misplaced and radical policy that adversely affects the welfare of the public library.”

It truly warms the cockles of my center-left liberal heart to realize that, even in the era of Donald Trump, there might still be what historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. once called “the vital center” in American political life, even in our little “red” town in western Kentucky. I would call it today “the sensible center,” and it is still vital if we are to survive as a democracy,

Indeed, everything that the CCCFFR said in their advertisement made bipartisan common sense. The author(s) supported the building of “one comprehensive structure (that) will result in efficiencies that save taxpayer dollars over time and result in a facility that gives good value to our citizens.”

They also rightly say “that having two facilities on one property will result in taxpayer dissatisfaction and larger long-term costs.”  

Most interesting to me, they chide current library board members for not treating women “with the same respect as men.” This affirms what many of us thought several years ago when Judge Elkins refused to appoint one of two very capable, efficient and civic-minded women – Constance Alexander and Ann Landini – to the library board.  

Misogyny is not a requirement of real conservativism. It almost looks as if members of the current Calloway-County Library Board are refusing to build the sensible library originally proposed (and almost half paid-for in advance) only because the previous board, which included several women, had approved it.

It is reminiscent of Donald Trump opposing nearly all of the measures of the Obama administration, often just because Obama was responsible for them. This is not real conservatism either.

When I read the newspaper’s coverage of the most recent meeting of the board meeting, I was, like thousands of my fellow citizens, very disappointed and saddened by the action of the board. But more than that, I felt a great sense of embarrassment for a community that I have come to care for and appreciate during my 50-year residence in Murray.

With wonderful library buildings in neighboring counties, we must be the subject of great amusement and even derision in those counties when we, the only Kentucky Jackson Purchase county that is growing demographically and economically, can’t even build a public library worthy of its citizens.

So I join the honorable, courageous, and sensible members of the Calloway County Conservatives for Fiscal Responsibility in calling for an end to the charade that is being played out on the Calloway County Public Library Board of Trustees. It is time for Judge Imes to call for the resignation of several current board members and to replace them with citizens who will do the right thing and build us a wonderful and appropriate library.

He might even consider appointing a woman?

And once the board decides to build us the new library, I will be the first to contribute a thousand dollars to help them pay off the “very dangerous” long-term debt they have incurred.  

I am sure that others will join me in this, especially if it will bring an end to the current travesty.

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times. Ken Wolf is a Democrat and a retired Murray State University history professor. He speaks here as an individual and not as a representative of either of these organizations. He can be reached at wolken43@gmail.com.

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