Telford’s mayor and six members of the Telford Borough Council issued a position statement Monday regarding the reduction in funding for the Indian Valley Public Library following its explosive February 6 meeting.
The statement appears to distance the majority of the council from the controversial comments and actions of Robert Jacobus, the seventh council member, made at and before the February 6 meeting.
Following the appearance of a Facebook post that referenced “a Bucks County councilman,” as many as 100 residents waited in line to gain entry to the meeting.
A portion of the social media post suggested that financing for the library would be in jeopardy “if they keep evangelizing for trans agenda and LGBTQ.”
During public comment, Telford resident Natalie Cimonetti attributed the anti-LGBTQ sentiment to councilman Robert Jacobus who publicly accepted responsibility for a portion of the Facebook post’s content.
Jacobus also offered public comment, along with a report he had created, titled “The Library Loophole Weaponized to Sexually Exploit Children.”
Jacobus also insinuated that his report might be posted on the Borough’s website.
Concerns about LGBTQ content at the Indian Valley Public Library is not, however, new information to the Telford Borough Council, as is reflected in meeting minutes dating to July, 2021.
The issue of funding being tied to specific content at the library is found in the August, 2021 minutes.
“No one wants to ban anything, and we’ll have to agree to disagree, but these things will come into consideration at budget time,” said Miles Arnott, former president of the borough council in the August minutes.
Jacobus was appointed to the council after Arnott resigned his seat in September 2022.
READ: Citing LGBTQ Books, Telford Councilman Admits To Authoring Portions Of A Facebook Post Calling To Defund Indian Valley Public Library
Telford officials emphasized the following in a statement Monday:
“Council did not request, authorize, participate in the production of, nor approve Member Jacobus’ materials on the IVPL.
Mr. Jacobus had been advised by several Council members to bring his concerns directly to the IVPL, but he has failed to submit his concerns through the Library’s existing procedure. Council urges residents to submit any concerns they have with Library policies directly to the Library management team.”
Additionally, the mayor and six council members maintain that the reallocation of money was to facilitate the hiring of an additional police officer.“The reduction in funding to the IVPL was not a commentary on the services that the library provides to our community,” the release says on behalf of Mayor Jerry Guretse, Council President Bill Ashley and council members Carolyn Crouthamel, Eric Kratz, Spencer Kulhanjian, John A Taylor and Council Vice-President Emiline Weiss.
Residents with continued concerns about library funding, or other borough related matters, can contact Borough Manager Cary Vargo, via email at manager(at)telfordborough.org or by calling 215-723-5000.
The next borough council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 13 at Telford Borough Hall.