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Concerned taxpayer welcomes feedback from Library Board members

May 16, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

The May 2nd Observer reported that the Fort Myers Beach Library Board had concerns about "incorrect information" that had appeared in letters to the editor included in local papers.

I'm one of the concerned taxpayers who submitted letters to the editor.

As background, I first became aware of the scope and cost of the more than doubling of size of the library back in late 2010. Although I think, and have said, we have a good library, I didn't think it was appropriate to spend $9,000,000 without going to referendum.

The library already was twice the size listed in Florida library standards. And, I was shocked at the way the money was raised, by way overestimating expenses and underestimating revenues. FMB Library District taxes were more than double from the mid 2000s what was needed to operate the library, costing the taxpayer with a home assessed at $300,000 an extra $500 from 2006 onward.

Multiple attempts to get the Library Board to take a time out to assess current taxpayer wishes, including a petition signed by more than 1000 residents, were rebuffed out of hand. It was full steam ahead months ahead of the contract signing.

To the best of my knowledge, I and other writers of the letters to the editor were accurate in what we wrote. I would welcome via email to me and/or timely letters to the editor what the Library Board considers inaccurate. I will be happy to apologize if the Library Board can document inaccuracies.

Paul Martin

Fort Myers Beach



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