The letter to the editor by Barbara Walsh regarding the proposed shutdown of the city’s library, museum, golf course and zoo was spot on. Just as we are beginning to see the possibility of again being able to congregate in public spaces, City Councilor Corn Best proposes closing the few options we possess; a proposal that is at once civically tone-deaf and culturally blind.
Best has apparently forgotten Roswell is supposed to be attracting retirees to help bolster its flagging economy. Among the selling points are civic amenities. People who did move here did so believing that those amenities were part of the deal.
It may come as a shock to the counselor to learn that many of Roswell’s citizens prefer reading books, visiting museums or playing golf over video game shoot-em-ups, neck tattoos or flag waving from the back of oversized pickup trucks. It was once referred to as being civilized.
Admittedly, Roswell is a distant outpost of American civilization. Nevertheless, for over 100 years forward-looking citizens, many of them women, devoted their energies and resources to bringing civilization, education and cultivation to this far-flung corner of the nation. Among those endeavors were our library and Roswell Museum and Art Center.
Abandoning these treasures now amounts to a negation of these enlightened pioneers’ ambitions to make Roswell a civilized community.
One would suppose that maintaining a library, something the ancient Romans were able to manage, would be among the most basic amenity of a civilized community. Corn Best however, views it as superfluous to the city’s needs. “Reading? who needs it?” isn’t exactly the message your students should be hearing. She complains the RMAC has only 416 members. She fails to mention that those are the patrons willing to pay for a membership. For a community this size, those numbers look fairly impressive.
Any traveler visiting Roswell will tell you the RMAC is a gem of an asset any town twice the size would be proud of.
Yet Corn Best repeats the idiotic notion that a city should be run like a business. But if the patrons of a business feel it is poorly run, they can choose another business who gives better service. The citizens of Roswell don’t have that option. We’re 200 miles from any other civilization. We either cultivate civilization here or give it up entirely. Freedom without civilization is a fool’s paradise.