Threat To Close Parks, Limit
Largo Library Hours Is Protested
by Leo Coughlin
LARGO - The huge outcry by Largo residents against wasting $60,000 on a memorial to Martin Luther King is not the only issue they have let their elected officials know about.
The need for sidewalks in the city for the safety of children has prompted a large wave of protest against any King Memorial and in a city that dumps $10,000 a week down the drain to support a Cultural Center for the few the proposal to curtail library hours and close parks triggered many e-mails to Largo City Hall.
Very often, facing budget constraints, city administrators like to throw out a "scare" tactic - namely, threatening to close or limit programs that the bulk of citizens like and enjoy.
This diversion takes attention away from things like the Cultural Center, one of the biggest white elephants in the United States, and other wasteful programs.
Obviously, as can be seen by the sampling of e-mails here from Largo residents, people want their library as it is and their parks open.
The e-mails have been edited slightly for space reasons.
As a citizen of the City of Largo, please do not close the Largo Library on Sunday. For all those moms and dads who work Tuesday-Saturday (such as hair stylists, restaurant workers, etc.), the only day those individuals have to take their children to the Library is Sunday. Many individuals we know utilize Largo Central Park and the Largo Library jointly on a Sunday afternoon. As a contributor to the building fund of the new library, please do everything in your ability to maintain it's service to the citizens of Largo by keeping it open on Sunday. Sally S. Day
Please keep McGough Nature Park (Turtle Park) open. We love it! I especially love the Nature Center, which gives kids a chance to go inside on hot or rainy days but still enjoy nature-related activities. My children love coloring at their little table in the corner, looking at the animal displays, and seeing where the albino snake is hiding in his cage that day. It is a unique and special park to my family. Charlotte Olson
I am sad at the thought that you may decide to destroy two of the most treasured gems Largo has to offer its residents and all its visitors. When I first arrived to Pinellas County 11 years ago, McGough and Bonner Parks were the first things I fell in love with. My children spend one to two days per week at these parks and continue to find great pleasures in all these parks have to offer. Franca Bentivegna
My children enjoy the natural setting of the parks and seeing Florida in its "undeveloped state." As a taxpayer, I appreciate the need to budget and spend within your means. I hope that you can keep McGough and Bonner Parks. Please find some other means of economizing besides these two natural gems. Loraine Tesney
Although I am only a three month resident, I urge you to find a way to keep McGough Park open - even if you have to charge a users fee. It is a beautiful park and a real asset to our community. Wanda and I walk in the park at least once a week from January through March. Bob Kerns
My son loves "turtle park" (McGough Park) we are there at least once a week. Why on earth would the city want to close a nature park? Please keep your heads on straight, we need parks for our children and our sanity. Susan Lawrence
As a working parent who also works Saturdays I was very upset to hear that you were even considering closing the library on Sundays. If that happens there will be many people who will stop using your library. Is it not there for all the people to use and enjoy? Please reconsider your thoughts on closing it on Sundays as I for one would have a very difficult time getting there on any other day . Donna Moore
I am writing to encourage you to do all that you can to keep the library open on Sundays. My 6-year-old daughter and I love going to the library, and as a working mother, I often find Sunday afternoons the best time to go. I am a school teacher and our afternoons and evenings are dedicated to schoolwork and much needed relaxation. Sundays are a great time to spend some time browsing the books. Tara Barbieri
I am writing to express my displeasure at the proposed closing of McGough Nature Park. As a neighbor, it has been a boon to this area as there is nothing like it around us. We should cherish our natural areas as there are so few left. Please reconsider this closing. Andrea LaPlante
I am writing in regard to McGough Park, as we lovingly call it, Turtle Park and Bonner Park. My family and I are residents of Largo and frequent McGough Park with our three year old daughter. She loves the nature trail, playground, docks, and turtle pond. Brandy L. Cooper