UPDATE: Just received word that the ad-hoc committee meeting was videotaped and I'll post the video later...
UPDATE 2: I'm learning more about what transpired at the ad-hoc committee meeting last night and to call the dog and pony show from the mayor and committee members Colleen Stanley and Phil Curran a sham is an understatement.
I'll post the video from the meeting as well as the fallout from what happened later this week...prepare to be outraged!
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the ad-hoc committee meeting on the library drop-box fiasco but thankfully Mark Langlois at the Danbury Patch was on-hand and filed this report.
The city agreed to look for a new option for the controversial library drop boxes that have been making the rounds outside the Danbury Public Library.
The idea of looking for a new option arose Tuesday during a one-hour ad hoc committee meeting of the City Council.
The most recent problem arose this summer, because for the last 11 years, the boxes were located on a traffic island one street crossing distant from the library plaza. A city worker collected the books twice a day for the last 11 year, but he is now on long-term disability leave, and he can't collect the books.
Library workers have objected to the task for three reasons. They have to push a cart loaded with two plastic boxes 50 yards from the library, cross a busy street, load the plastic boxes with the books people dropped off, then push the cart, plastic boxes and books back across the busy intersection and then 50 yards back to the library.
To solve that problem, the city moved the boxes to the parking lot behind the library, and that solution appeared to please the library workers, although it led to loud objections from patrons. Now the patrons have to get out of their cars.
Christine Rotello of Danbury, said there are three types of library patrons very seriously inconvenienced by moving the boxes off the traffic island, and those people have rights.
"You have your parents with children," she said, and drew a graphic picture with words of a mother having to unstrap her children, grab her pocketbook, grab the books, and herd the children across traffic and the plaza to reach the drop box. She said similar problems arise for the elderly and for people with handicaps.
"Why not put them right back where they were before," Christine Rotello asked.
The removal of the drop boxes from their former location is unacceptable plan and simple. Although our mayor talks about looking for a solution to the matter, there is really only one sensible solution...BUT THE BOXES BACK TO THEIR ORIGINAL LOCATION and tell the library staff that they have an additional responsibility.
Any other "option" is laughable and unrealistic and Boughton knows it.
Although no decision arose from the meeting, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said he would visit the library Wednesday with Public Works Director Antonio Idarolla to look for a possible solution behind the library that would create a way for people to drive up to a drop box and not climb out of their car.
"I'm not promising anything. I'll take a look at it," Boughton said.
Among the longer-term options is the city's plan to take the Union Savings Bank behind the library and use its drive-up window area as a daytime drop off and pick up area. That is possibly three years off.
A second long-term option, Boughton said, is during the renovations to the former Immanuel Lutheran School next to the library, perhaps the city could include drop off boxes somewhere in the parking lot. It is close to the library, and it doesn't involve crossing any streets with carts loaded with books.
As the article outlines, these options are VERY LONG TERM and unnecessary since there was no problem with the boxes at the old location...the problem stemmed from a lack of funding to have ONE PERSON go out and empty the boxes.
In the end, the problem with the boxes came down to economics. With ALL THOSE EMPLOYEES at the library, you would think they could find ONE person who would have no problem emptying the boxes. Paying someone to do this small job would cost peanuts.