There are some factions in Indian Rocks Beach that appear to be bent on creating a white elephant for the city.
And it is an exercise in needlessness.
In short, this little town does not need its own library. To even contemplate building one is absurd.
To state the obvious - there are three first class libraries within 10 miles of the Gulf Coast city.
One IRB resident said the other day, "Wow, I went to the Largo Library. I didn't realize how magnificent it is."
Yes. And perfectly able to fulfill any needs that any ordinary IRB resident would have.
Obviously the folks in Indian Rocks Beach who are so dedicated to having a library want to run with the big dogs. Could anything be sillier?
Here's the thing about a library in IRB - It will constantly grow, constantly be a drain on the city's financial resources. There will always be a demand for more space, more books, more help.
Some of the clamor for this white elephant is leaping ahead by leaps and bounds.
A couple of weeks ago the City Commission had a proposal to transfer $11,000 to the library budget for a part time librarian.
Instead, that became $50,000 allocated for a full time librarian (can you get a qualified professional in that field for that price?).
Apparently the funds came from money that originally was earmarked for the YMCA giveaway program which has become defunct (predictably so, if you have been reading this space).
The only commissioner willing to exercise restraint and apparently able to see into the future and guess what a money eater a library will become was Jose Coppen.
With the Legislature still working on tax reform in the state, who knows what tomorrow will bring in that area? It is a very parlous situation and a time to exercise extreme caution.
But it is a funny thing. When the artsy-craftsy crowd gets the bug in mind to have a library a behemoth has been created that will soak up money like crazy. So caution goes by the boards.
There is a pie in the sky mentality to all of this. "Grants will come flooding in." "Money will appear from somewhere." "Let's move ahead full blast." "Something will turn up."
The taxpayers in Indian Rocks Beach are sensible people (hey, look, they very wisely got Ed Piniero off the City Commission in March to the relief of one and all). Have the folks in the city been thoroughly sounded out on the library foolishness?
Again, there are three great libraries within driving minutes of Indian Rocks Beach.
Even those institutions have a sense of misplaced priorities. Libraries, in the view here, should not be places to check out movie VCRs, DVDs, CDs (classical music okay), or have the shelves loaded with the junk novelists.
If the white elephant grows in Indian Rocks Beach that is what will happen there, too. There will be lots of junk taking up space that could be used for worthwhile material.
One wonders about the priorities of the City Commission. It is now trying to steady itself and overcome the uproar constantly created by the mayor.
But consider this - $50,000 to start off on what will become a very expensive venture and, at the same time, allot a measly $500 to pay an investigator in the notorious Grieshaber case?
Makes one wonder - is there something involving the former city manager that some parties want to keep the lid on?