|Citrus County, Fla. (Wikipedia map)|
The Citrus County library system already pays $3,000 a year for a print subscription available at all four locations. The three-year digital subscription would have cost $2,657 per year for the first two years and $2,714 the third year; it would have provided free digital access to the Times for 70,000 library cardholders, Wright reports. Library director Eric Head said the digital subscription would not replace the print subscription, though they would consider canceling the print subscription if the digital one proved popular enough.
Public reaction to the decision was mostly negative. Commissioner Brian Coleman said he thinks they should discuss the matter more. "Do I think I made a mistake? Yes," Coleman told Wright. "Our decision should have been impartial, instead of having it become a personal thing."
Carnahan said he still believes the county should not pay for the subscription, but said it's because of the expense, not his personal views about the paper. "I’m open to a free press . . . Not at the taxpayers' expense," Carnahan told Wright.
"The Citrus County Special Library District Advisory Board, comprised of members appointed by the county commission, will schedule a special meeting in early November to discuss the issue," Wright reports.