To the editor:
I have been following recent discussion about the Fort Myers Beach Library expansion with great interest and felt the need to respond. As an engineer I have spent the last 40 years involved in the commercial construction, development and building management business.
First, I was shocked at the size of the expansion and subsequently even more shocked to learn that almost all of the funding for the expansion was obtained by excessive taxation for library operations over many years.
Now we, the taxpayers, are being told that operating costs for the expanded library requires only an 8- to 13-percent budget increase. This is not possible when the building has more than doubled in size. One also wonders if the true operational costs will be hidden from taxpayers once again. The Library Boards past performance gives us little confidence in the current budget forecasts.
Our community needs people on the Library Board who will ask important questions and scrutinize the operational budget of the expanded library. These operations need to be discussed in an open and frank manner, ensuring that as taxpayers we are not left in the dark again.
Bruce Butcher, Peter Reid and Jim Stevens care about our community and are keen to ensure the public is presented with a transparent library operation. Please support Bruce, Peter and Jim as they will add a much needed and long overdue business sense to the Library Board.