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Opinion: Middlebury voters need some additional choices

People have lots of ideas about why to reject the current proposal for the town gym and offices when they vote this Tuesday. Many have ideas about what Middlebury could do instead.
Here is mine.
I’m the gardener at the Ilsley Library. The back garden there, though very small, has become a place that welcomes not only people but honeybees, bumblebees, praying mantises, grasshoppers, rabbits, lots of different birds and butterflies, a neighbor cat, and a toad.
For awhile now, I’ve been thinking about what a great little park we could make next door: raised beds along the sidewalk for a children’s garden; benches and a table; birdbaths and water for passing dogs; a fence with vines to keep kids safe; story times, art and games for kids under the flowering black locust trees.
The white house could be a senior center and a place where people can make art or do crafts and in time be moved to make room for a library expansion. Wouldn’t this be lovely? And what a nice and welcome surprise for people, a place of relative cool and quiet in a busy, noisy town — another little park for us.
In contrast, what is proposed at present is a two-story brick building very close to the library. The white house would be moved, the fragrant locusts cut down. The building would dwarf the library, block sunlight from the garden and windows. and make the lovely Ilsley look out of place. When the library expands, the back garden might be destroyed.
I see Article 1, the proposal to revote — yes or no — to keep the present town plan regarding the town gym and municipal building as a chance for people in Middlebury to give yourselves time to hear each other’s ideas and talk about them. You have NOT been allowed that kind of time and you deserve it. It’s your town and your very important choice to make; too important to limit yourselves to just one proposal.
You can do better.
Anna Rose Benson
Weybridge

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