Bill Kiner concludes his three-part question and answer series with Town council members Scott Kaupin, Cindy Mangini and Tom Arnone.
Q: It has long been a thought that our town library is quite antiquated. Are there any thoughts about expansion and bringing the library into the 21st century?
Scott: The consolidation of the two high schools into one expanded and renovated building does provide us with the opportunity to enlarge our public library to a size that meets the needs of a community the size of Enfield. The Board of Education has selected Enfield High School as the site of the combined high school. This affords the Town of Enfield the ability to convert the Enrico Fermi High School building into a community center and public library. We are at the beginning stages of the discussions and the fact finding, but I feel at Fermi we do have the ability to create a great facility for the community to use and benefit from. A library in the range of 70,000 square feet is recommended for a community our size, and depending on the results of a structural analysis, the main floor and ground floor of the main building of Fermi could be converted into a state of the art public library.
Tom: My full attention will be on the consolidation of the High Schools. Consolidation will be an academic plus for our students. With that being said, I would support moving the library to Fermi if voters approve the referendum.
Cindy: There is no question that we do need to bring our library into the 21st century! One of the big issues facing our library is the lack of space. With the high school consolidation process comes the brainstorming of ideas on how best to make use of our town buildings. One of the priority buildings is the library.
Q: Unlike Congress which is so polarized, do you believe that local Republicans and Democrats can work together for the benefit of Enfield?
Scott: Yes, I do believe that both Republicans and Democrats work together for the benefit of Enfield. From time to time we will have our philosophical differences, but in most cases our decisions are unanimous or pass with bipartisan support. We are making decisions that affect the daily lives of our residents and the businesses that call Enfield home. There is a mutual respect among those that serve and we commit ourselves to listen and learn, discuss and debate, be objective, and in the end make the decisions that are in the best interest of the community. The polarization tends to be at the levels of government farthest away from the people it serves. Here in Enfield it is a welcome change where people do work together to benefit the community.
Tom: I may not agree with what my Republican friends say but I believe in their right to say it. Enfield is my agenda and I plan to work together with Republicans for the good of our community.
Cindy: Democrats and Republicans must work together for the benefit of our town. For the most part, the issues we face locally should have no political agendas. The town government would best serve the people by putting aside politics and focus on addressing the problems. After all, Enfield, along with most towns, must battle the state and federal government constantly regarding unfunded mandates. We need to strive for unity in our local government.
of this series was published Tuesday, and on Wednesday.