FMB Library Board Meeting


Greer Attends Final Session

The Fort Myers Beach Public Library Board held its monthly meeting in the 3rd Floor Community Room on Tuesday evening, May 28. In attendance were Chair Sallie Seabury, Treasurer Jan Fleming, and Board members George Ballantyne and Ed Scott. Board member Miffie Greer arrived a few minutes after the start of the session, with Board members Erik LaFave and Rick Sebastian on excused absences.

After unanimously approving the Treasurer’s Report, Seabury announced that this would be Greer’s final meeting, as she had recently relocated from the FMB Library District. “Miffie has been on the Library Board, as its Treasurer, since 2012. It is with deep regret that we accept her resignation.” “I know the Board will continue to move our wonderful Library forward in the years ahead,” said Greer, “and I will continue to visit our marvelous Library for many years to come! Many thanks to everybody for all these wonderful years. There are many things I hate about leaving Fort Myers Beach, but this is right at the top!”

The Library Board, Director Cletus Poser and Attorney Anne Dalton presented Greer with a Certificate of Recognition and a dozen roses, with Seabury commenting, “Every girl needs roses; we are going to miss you, my dear!” “Thank you for all your years of service,” added Fleming. “I know I speak for the entire Board when I say we really appreciate you.” Greer then expressed the next goal in her life: “My new community does not have a library, and they need a library, so I hope to take on that mission!”

Seabury addressed the appointment to the soon-to-be-vacant Library Board seat: “We noticed the office of Governor Ron DeSantis. Susan Walker, Treasurer of ‘The Friends of The Library,’ very kindly offered us her services, and she submitted the necessary paperwork to the Governor’s office for the appointment, but we know from previous experience that this is not an instantaneous thing.” Seabury stated that Ballantyne graciously volunteered to assume the role of Treasurer, and in her role as Chair, Seabury appointed him to that position effective at the end of the meeting.

Dr. Hommerding’s Wish List

Seabury reported that “The Friends of the Library” donated $20,000 to the FMB Library, to fulfill the final “Wish List” of the late Library Director, Dr. Leroy Hommerding, with $10,000 each going to the purchase of new AV items and to Furniture & Equipment. Seabury said that the State Auditor suggested the Library Board amend the current Operating Budget to reflect these appropriations, with the Library Board providing its unanimous approval.

The board then addressed, “Front Door Solutions,” as the Library main entrance frequently opens due to high winds. Scott proposed a new alternative. “When I take my wife shopping at Bealls Department Store, they have a push button so when you push it, only then do the (power) doors open. They have these at hospitals and our doctor’s office as well. Rather than trying to retrofit our doors, we should examine this solution.” “That is a wonderful idea,” exclaimed Seabury! “I don’t know why, with all the trouble we have with the front doors, it never dawned on us to change the structure of the door rather than the structure of the building.” The Library Board assigned Scott to work with Poser to investigate this.

The Library Board approved updated “Trespassing Warning” and “Guidelines Governing the Use of the Library” policies by a 4 to 1 vote, with Scott against as his Library Board packet was missing these items, stating “I cannot approve what I did not see.”

FMB Chamber & AMIKids

Under New Business: FMB Chamber Membership, Fleming proposed that the Library become a Chamber member. “It is just $95 a year for a non-profit. The Chamber is a great place to network and get the word out about our beautiful library.”

“I don’t see any benefit,” countered Scott. “The Chamber was against the Library before.” “They have undergone a significant change in personnel,” replied Fleming, who pointed out the Library made its connection with the AMIKids group that recently donated the memorial beach to Dr. Hommerding through the FMB Chamber. The Board voted 4 to 1 to join the FMB Chamber, with Scott against.

Under “AMIKids Bench Donation,” Fleming reported that the bench “came as a great surprise! They said to meet them at the Library for a presentation in Dr. Hommerding’s memory, and thanks to Sallie for providing them a little reception afterwards. The shop teacher and students said they built the bench because Dr. Hommerding was always so gracious to them when they volunteered at the seasonal Book Sales. The bench is beautiful and sturdy, with the students placing it outside in the new Memorial Garden.” The Library Board will send Thank You cards to the instructor and students.

Poser in his Director’s Report stated that the Library purchased three new “Powerheart AED” lifesaving units, one for each floor, for $3,927; the Library is implementing “Safe Room” locks and signage for its 6 restrooms, 4 offices and 3 Conference Rooms should emergency situations arise; provided cost estimates for Police or Security Personnel; and gave updates on a Solar Tree enhancement and the Library’s “Generosity Island” with donation levels from $1,000 to $40,000. Poser reported that the Town of Fort Myers Beach recently named the late Dr. Hommerding co-recipient of its 2019 Mulholland Stewardship Award, and if his Minnesota family can attend, that would be an excellent time to dedicate the Library’s “Memorial Garden” in his honor as well.

Under Friends of The Library, Jan Fleming said that the group was the charity recipient of the Drag Queen Bingo fundraiser hosted each Tuesday throughout April by the Nauti Parrot Dock Bar, receiving a $2,750 donation, saying “that is a nice chunk of money we can use to help the Library!” The meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.


By Gary Mooney