To the editor:
Is there a person in Fort Myers Beach who would like to add her or his name to the slate of candidates for the Beach Library Board of Directors as there is one more seat to be challenged in 2012. We need fiscal responsibility now more than ever.
The library director must have missed the "USA Today" news edition of March 16, 2012, where statistics show that 2011 book sales (thus hard cover and paper back books being read) were down by 17.5 percent whereas E-books are up 117 percent, and downloaded audio books were up 25 percent. The trend is accelerating. We no longer need a huge library to store these books, and we actually would need a smaller staff. We also need a library board that is aware of these dramatic changes and who will protect the tax payer from exorbitant costs in running a huge white elephant such as we are seeing grow on our lovely island.
Paul Martin's letter regarding Peter Reid and Jim Stevens deserves comment. Paul has also tirelessly tried to do as these gentlemen have done and, that is, to make the public aware of how our tax dollars are spent. Paul would make a wonderful addition to the board, but sadly he has other commitments to his time.
It is imperative that we have oversight of our tax dollar expenditures. Paul has clarified the problem with the library expansion. Few taxpayers were aware of the library's status as a "Special Taxing District." The library director and board members, and not the FMB Town Council or Lee County Board of County Commissioners, have control of our tax money. There was no oversight by the County with regard to this $9 million expansion.
The FMB Town Council did address this subject. For example, they offered the library board the use of Town Hall and TV coverage for their board meetings to better inform our residents what they were doing, but the board refused this offer. How much more tax money will be needed unless the FMB Library Board of Directors is made up of concerned citizens? Where is the Outrage?
Please, Fort Myers Beach citizens, vote for Peter and Jim in the next election. Please, step up and run for the third seat if you care about your money.
This is the first time I believe that there will be any real competition for the Board. Surely, you have all been amazed by the huge structure that is a monument to the library director and his board.
There is not one person that I have met who has not been shocked by what has transpired. Vote for Peter and Jim to add some sanity to this "Special Taxing District" and add your name to the list of candidates. Thank you in advance.
Fort Myers Beach