LEAWOOD, Kan. – Monday night a young constituent spoke and a metro suburb's city council listened. Spencer Collins’ action has given new life to free little libraries in the city, at least for the time being.
Leawood City Council members voted unanimously in favor of a moratorium so they can re-examine a decade-old ordinance that bans tiny structures in front yards. The decision comes after nine-year-old Spencer addressed them via the public comment section of the meeting.
“I like checking the little library to see what books have been taken and what new books are left,” he said. “I think free little libraries are good for Leawood and I hope you will change the code.”
His father, Brian Collins, backed him up.
“For one simple reason: promote literacy and promote community, two things we can all agree on are good,” he said.
Several others offered the family support; while only one man spoke against the idea by arguing free little libraries are an “eyesore” that will decrease property values.
“You will destroy Leawood if you destroy our codes and bylaws,” he said.
Council members eventually voted unanimously to begin a moratorium, that means the city will not enforce the ban on front yard structures until October 20.
While city administrator Scott Lambers told the crowd in attendance that the ordinance would not be amended immediately, that process takes between 60 and 90 days, Spencer was still pleased with Monday night’s outcome that will allow his library to stand for the near future.
“I like it because we can put it up for these three months,” Spencer said. “We’re gonna put it up, it’s gonna mean a lot because I worked hard on putting this all up and I’m really excited.”
Spencer told FOX 4’s Katie Banks right after the meeting that the process has taught him a lot about being a good citizen. Spencer also had some advice for other families who might be scared to fight for what they believe in.
“Go for it,” he said.