Sunday, June 12, 2011

David Weinhold, Eastern Shores Library System Director, Speaks Up for WiscNet

Letter to the editor:  Dismantling 20 years of success.  (Sheboygan Press, 6/11/2011)

On a local news TV channel is a segment called, "You Got To Be Kidding."

This segment often illustrates the consequences of ill-advised decisions. This is what went through my mind when I heard the report that the Joint Finance Committee approved a motion that would remove funding from the University of Wisconsin for its role in improving and supporting broadband Internet service in Wisconsin.

The motion would halt implementation of broadband Internet service in rural areas of the state, thus impeding the economic progress for the businesses and communities.

The motion would end the University's cooperation with WiscNet, an Internet service provider for other universities, colleges, schools, public libraries, local municipalities and hospitals. The motion will mean increased expenses for Internet service for public and private schools, public libraries and local municipalities — expenses difficult to meet based on the Legislature's reductions in state funding and limitations on local expenditures.

So at a time when, emphasis is to foster cooperation, to have jurisdictions consolidate services, to have efficiencies gained by working together, a motion is introduced and 12 members of the committee make an ill-advised decision to dismantle 20 years of success in cooperation, consolidation, and efficiency.

You got to be kidding!

David Weinhold
Eastern Shores Library System

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