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Easy fix to Shell Love Bug saga

By Staff | Aug 1, 2018

To the editor:

Pam Rambo has been struggling to reclaim the Shell Love Bug from Lee County for the past two years and has had to resort to hiring attorneys to reclaim her creation.

The county attorney has vigorously pursued this case, contending that the Shell Love Bug is simply an excess fleet vehicle and should be disposed of at auction, ignoring the fact that neither the county or any subsequent buyer could legally use or display the car due to Rambo’s copyright on the artwork that adorns it.

Who would bid on something they can’t use? What has the county to gain from this fiasco except more legal fees and increasingly negative publicity?

The county currently has three attorneys working on this case! Combined legal fees are already in excess of $50,00 and mounting daily without being any closer to resolution. Pam and her attorneys have made numerous offers for settlement, which have been ignored by the county.

Instead of making an earnest effort to resolve the dispute over the Shell Love Bug, the attorneys continue to confuse, complicate and prolong the issue, resulting in ever increasing legal fees.

This is especially reprehensible since there exists in Florida Statues a provision, which would allow a quick, uncomplicated legal solution to the problem. Florida Statute 274.06 states, in part, “a governmental unit’s property unit’s property that is obsolete or the continued use of which is uneconomical or inefficient, or which serves no useful function, may be disposed of for value to any person.”

It further states: “Property, the value of which the governmental unit estimates to be under $5,000, may be disposed of in the most efficient and cost effective means as determined by the governmental unit.”

According to Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann, the current Blue Book value of the 2005 Volkswagen Beetle is around $4,000. Simply utilizing this statue would allow a quick amicable resolution to this case.

Mann’s guest commentary in the July 11, 2018, issue of the Island Reporter shows that he understands that the county needs to resolve this issue in order to deal with more pressing problems facing Lee County.

On behalf of Lee County taxpayers and the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, we implore the Lee County Commissioners to resolve this issue and stop wasting our money on attorneys!

Give the Shell Love Bug back to Rambo! It is an outstanding work of art and belongs to its creator!

Ada Shissler