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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Local columnist denies library wrongdoing

See commentary section on this blog for my reasons for changing this post.

The Library Board, too, is blameless, despite the hair-triggered judgment of aldermen who believed the board was taking too long. The Library Board was not dragging its feet. It was acting on the advice of counsel to re-boot the complaint procedure after the Maziarkas went public and their original complaint mutated from one constitutionally unsupportable life form into another.

Please see:

"West Bend Library Commits 'Gross Error'; Refuses to Honor Materials Reconsideration Policy in Possibly Illegal Manner."

From link above:

As you say, "If the Maziarkas are concerned with different issues and different books, they need to submit a Reconsideration form for each book." You know what, I agree that may have been appropriate, but that was not what happened here. Maziarka brought a complaint. It was rejected and she was directed to follow procedure and file a complaint. She filed the complaint. The complaint was accepted. She met with a librarian about the complaint. Then she met with the library director about the complaint. Both times were about the substantive issues of the complaint. Neither person complained about the form of the complaint, and neither required her to resubmit. The evaluation was well on its way. Then, based on the excuse of the city attorney's view of Maziarka's public statements on the issue, among other things, the library dropped the complaint without giving Maziarka a chance to say word one. That is the procedural problem I have raised. That is what is unfair.


Concerned West Bend Citizen said...


So what you're saying is that

1. Just because Mark Peterson expresses his opinion, he has a "vendetta". He has a vendetta - ROTFLMAO.

2. You accuse Mark Peterson of publishing a "stale rant of his distaste for those who oppose his viewpoint"? Pot. Kettle. Black.

3. You think that because he wrote and submitted an op-ed piece, that he's "taking advantage" of the newspaper? Are you familiar with the purpose of the editorial page in a newspaper?

4. And you are "sad" that your paper allowed someone to express an opinion that differs from your own? Again, you are familiar with the nature of newspapers as to be a place for all sides of an issue to be expressed, right?


West Bend Citizen Advocate said...


2. YES.


gardening girl said...

Way to go West Bend Citizen Advocate. You are right on! Let's imagine what it would be like if the
West Bend Daily News had a local columnist who spoke for the majority of the community, especially on this issue. WE WANT A SAFE LIBRARY!! The coverage of the local paper has been just horrible. I wonder how long a paper can last in a community when they refuse to write the truth and represent the community as a whole

SafeLibraries said...

Mark Peterson expresses his opinion in an interesting fashion. I've never noticed him to resort to ad hominem argument. I believe he is wrong, like when he said, "The Library Board, too, is blameless...," but at least he tells you where he stands and why in a manner that largely addresses the issues.

Another example. Peterson says, "The Library Board was not dragging its feet." False. See "West Bend Library Commits 'Gross Error'; Refuses to Honor Materials Reconsideration Policy in Possibly Illegal Manner."

Compare Peterson's style with "Concerned West Bend Citizen's" style that is more like slash and burn, even including curse words: "ROTFLMAO." As Mark Peterson said, "Nice, nice, very nice."

Look, I disagree with Mark Peterson, but he has never attacked me personally, has always been reasonable, and even addresses the issues. He is a breath of fresh air in a sea of people who see personal attack as the means to their end.

Comments such as those by Mark Peterson ought to be applauded. Sure, point out how and why he is wrong, but I suggest being nicer to him. Politely point out, for example, that you have nothing to do with the book burners. Agree that the request to burn the books could be considered embarrassing.

Besides, Star Trek's out now. Illogical thinkers and logical thinkers are both back in style.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

I have had some time to think about the Peterson column. While I disagree strongly with Mark, and there is some misinformation in his statements, I think SafeL. is correct in his statement. While much of the commentary here has been off the topic, "slash and burn", as SafeL. stated, Mark did stick to the issue at hand and was clear on his reasons. This is more than I can say for the majority of the comments left here on this blog by others, some of whom I have held back as they are the same type of statements over and over again. No meat to the conversation, just hate. Mark, in all honesty, did not spew any hate. He was more factual and concrete. My strong feelings came in to play with the fact that people are still saying things that just are not true, then using them to stir up more of the ire against the city council.

With this said, I am changing my commentary on the blog to reflect the above statements. My apologies to Mark for the harsh criticism, and I will now rewrite my commentary to reflect my sincerity.

Mpeterson said...

Wow, I just found this... my Google alerts have been slackers.

First of all, no one ever has to apologize for anything "insulting" they say about me. My feelings won't be hurt. I work in academia. I've been insulted by professionals.

So long as you tell the truth about me, I'm happy to be damned for it.

Second, I never trot out stuff in the column or online that I merely happen to "feel" is right. Emotion is an untrustworthy compass when it comes to legal matters (as, I'm afraid, the Maziarkas are discovering). There are always reasons for what I say.

If the reasons are right, then I'm right. If the reasons are wrong, and you can show me where, I'll accept the correction.

This is the curse of my discipline: it's more important to have good reasons than to win arguments at any cost.

I'm able to avoid "spewing hate" about this issue because I have the US Constitution to stand on -- just as the Library Board does.

In order for you to knock any of our arguments (not our feelings, not our instincts, not our desires -- our arguments) over, you'll have to first erode the rights given to all Americans under that aegis... and you should expect me to give you a really hard time about eroding our Constitutional rights. :^)

But again, if you can show me where I have any of that wrong, I'm happy to be corrected.

Politics is always a mess in a democracy. What I'm not always clear about, Ginny, is whether your real complaint is about the messiness of many world-views getting along, or about democracy itself. Sometimes it does sound, to me anyways, like it's democracy you don't like.

Which ought to be more than enough from me.