Community Viewpoint – Letter’s To The Editor

Letters to the EditorSupporting Gross!

Dear Editor:

My name is Lorraine Mentz. I am an educator, a resident, a taxpayer, a wife and a mother of two daughters ages 13 and 10. I am president of the William Floyd Elementary School PTO and vice president of the William Floyd Middle School PTO. I am involved in many different committees within the William Floyd School District and I have been actively serving the children and families in our community for over ten years.
The purpose of my letter is to share my thoughts and feelings about Wendy Gross. Wendy’s devotion to the community is apparent in her volunteer work at the Library as a Board member, as a literacy tutor, and as a coordinator of the Summer Reading Program at the Library.
Each summer Wendy coordinates William Floyd School District teachers and administrators who volunteer their time to read to community children over the summer break. Parents, children, and Library staff look forward to this unique volunteer-based event each week.
Wendy is an avid Library user as well. Often she is sitting in the adult area throughout the week. Sometimes she is tutoring adults in reading and writing, other times she is meeting with community members seeking out her guidance and advice. Other times she is visiting with staff and administrators. No matter what the purpose of the visit, Wendy always has a smile on her face and she makes time for everyone.
Obviously Wendy can be found at monthly Library board meetings, volunteering her time to help with the governance and oversight of the Library operations. Her work as a Kindergarten teacher in Tangier Smith Elementary School proves that she understands the importance of early literacy and makes her an excellent advocate for the Library programs and services. She has been a wonderful connector between the William Floyd School District and the Library, helping to strengthen and expand an already successful partnership.
Often I run into Wendy at many community and school events such as the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, Annual Smith Point 5K for Literacy Run, the middle school and high school theater productions, Kid Fest, Applebee’s Fundraising breakfasts for many different organizations from Rotary to many of the music and sports teams.
I am glad that Wendy is in our community and that she always advocates for children. I am thrilled that she is a Library Board Trustee and I will continue to support her and vote for her because she is truly an invaluable asset to our community.

Lorraine Mentz
William Floyd Elementary PTO
William Floyd Middle School PTO
The Process for a New Library Has Been Amazing

Dear Editor:

My name is Joseph Furnari, I am the Chairman of the Community Library Advocacy Committee (CLAC) and it has been amazing to have such an opportunity. I feel that it is important to write to this community, not only because of my position, but to make you aware of our current efforts.
The Community Library Advocacy Committee (CLAC) has been working tirelessly to acquire all the necessary information to bring to the community so that they can make a well informed decision on the direction of our library. The committee, in cooperation with the Library board, has gone through every piece of available vacant land that could be a potential location for a “New Library”, but all proved to be unattainable or unfit. The parking lots and buildings surrounding the current Library location are not for sale,
Any property within the community, would be more costly than the current proposed site, as the Links property has been offered to the Library at little or no cost.
The original proposed site of the “New Library” at the former Links property was in close proximity to the Colony Preserve complex, so we invited their representatives to be a part of our committee. We listened to the concerns, questions and comments, and we decided to relocate the proposed “New Library” within the links property, NE of the lake, closer to the Wm. Floyd School District. There are many benefits to this shift in location.
Myself, along with the rest of the CLAC board, will be meeting with the “New Library” Design committee to come up with a design to lower the initial cost of the project. As we get closer to a referendum we will have more exact numbers. In addition to the savings from moving the location of the proposed site, the Library has reserve funds to apply to the project costs. The sale of our Library building will generate significant additional income to offset project costs. We will also be working very closely with our elected officials to acquire the necessary funding for this project from the state and federal level, to alleviate the financial impact on our community.
I understand how a “New Library” building, and an additional monthly cost for your family may be unpopular with some people, and there are others who are on a fixed income. I ask that before you make a firm decision on the project, please let us as a committee continue to do our job to provide you with more information. I am a firm believer that an investment in our community is an investment in ourselves.
I also want to finish with this last thought, the services that our library offers are an inspiration to other libraries across the island. Let’s imagine what kind of library we would have, if we had a facility to match our services. Additionally, a library is more than just a physical building, where we keep books, computers, movies and have programs, it’s a community center where people can go to learn, to get help in just about every aspect of life and ultimately during times of hardship, (like Hurricane Sandy), where basic necessities were lost. People want to come to a place that feels like home.
Going forward a Facebook page will be created to provide up-to-date information to the community as we proceed, so please keep a look out. You can read up on the history of this community driven process and stay up-to-date by visiting the project website at http://future.communitylibrary.org. I hope this calms some fears or answers some questions. Ultimately, we want everyone in this community to feel included in this process.

Best Regards,
Joseph Furnari
Chairperson of CLAC


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