I read with interest the recent Gazette article about the proposal for a new West End library in conjunction with Montana State University Billings. While I wholeheartedly agree that a good library is a tremendous asset to any city - one need only to look to Bozeman's new facility to realize that - it seems we may be putting the cart before the horse. It wasn't that long ago that the fine people of Billings turned down the opportunity to fund a new library facility downtown, although shortly after they saw their way clear to fund a new baseball park which, I guess, says something about our priorities.
It seems to me that before we expand our library to the West End, we should endeavor to build a state of the art, first-class main library downtown. In nearly 40 years of voting, I've never voted against a levy that would enhance the quality of life in Billings, be it a baseball park, swimming pool, school mill levy or library. But I would certainly have misgivings about funding an additional library on the West End before building a new one or at least substantially upgrading the existing one downtown. Let's put first things first and address the real issue, which is not, in my opinion, building a library on the far edge of town.
Gerald R. Kessler