Fruitland city manager in ‘hot water’ after removing little free library
FRUITLAND, Md. – It was something Fruitland resident Michelle Milad never saw coming. Her little free library gone without a trace. With only an imprint of what used to be left on her front lawn.
“I honestly thought it was just some kids so I called the police and I said it’s probably just gone but I just wanted you to be on the lookout for it. ,” said Milad.
With that call, an investigation was underway. But it didn’t take long for officials to find out what happened.
“A witness came forward and said that they saw the little library on a front loader being taken off my lawn and taken through the streets,” she explained.
Here’s where the story takes a turn. After tracking down the Fruitland city employee who took the library, police learned the surprising motive behind the removal.
“He said to the police officer, it wasn’t my doing, the city manager had directed me to take it off the lawn because he felt it wasn’t being utilized,” said Milad.
In a press release, the Fruitland city council president said the box was “noticed to be in the city’s sidewalk easement” which required removal.
“No of course it wasn’t on the sidewalk,” exclaimed Milad.
In a statement the city says they took the library off of the front lawn until they could figure out who it belonged to. Never walking 10 feet to the homeowners front door.
“I thought how arrogant that someone felt like they had the right to take something that was not theirs,” said Milad.
The incident has since gained attention across social media. And now hundreds of people are supporting Milad, and are trying to help her rebuild her library.
As for the city they say they recognize that it would have been better to have located the owner prior to removing it. And they hope to meet with Milad to hopefully reach an acceptable resolution.
“I have a meeting with them tomorrow, so we will see what happens,” said Milad.