A judge ruled late last week that the East Hampton Library could move forward with its plans to build a new children's wing. One would have thought that an expanded library that doesn't cost taxpayers anything and had the support of more than 80% of Village residents wouldn't be so controversial as to end up in court. But this is the Hamptons and, for the past eight years, a very small but very powerful group of residents had aggressively blocked the plan at nearly every turn.
We certainly wouldn't want to speculate about anyone's motives for wanting to block such a thing, but there have been plenty of whispers that the opposition believed strongly that "if you built it, they will come." The "they" being poor children and their parents from the area who might be attracted to a shiny new wing full of enticing books right on Main Street. The obstructionists pushed hard for a separate (but equal, we're assured) location for a new children's library out of sight in Springs, but that idea was fiercely resisted by the Library, who wanted to keep resources consolidated at just one location.
Luckily, the Mayor has said the Village won't appeal the judge's ruling, so the library now plans to raise the rest of the $4M needed (they're already more than halfway there) and break ground in the fall.
· Court Awards Permit for Library's Children's Wing [EH Star]
· After Library Decision, Mayor Says 'Time To Move On' [EH Patch]
· East Hampton Library [Official Site]