8123/2010 We all agree that the library's financial situation is dire, and it has been developing since at least 2006. Unlike the county commissioners, the library board does not have a time set aside to answer questions from the public or the media at each meeting. So I have put these in writing. Answers to the following questions will be helpful. First of all, the state. The library division has offered "technical help" to the trustees. What "technical help" does the board plan to ask for, and when? How will this improve the library's financial position? Also, Irene Padilla said she is going to offer training on the trustees' legal obligations. However, she said last week she did not know what help the trustees need. Specifically, what advice does the board think it needs, and what is the board going to ask for? Next, the board. 1. Despite bylaws which limit the number of consecutive terms to three, the past president, Becky Taylor, served four terms in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The secretary is closing in on his sixth consecutive term, beginning after he stepped down as president in 2006. According to information from the library, retired board member Louise Durocher was vice president four years in a row. Why has the board ignored its bylaws? How does the public benefit when it does? 2. The bylaws say there will be a Treasurer's Report presented in every meeting. There were at least 11 meetings in 2008 and 2009. During those years Jack Stenger was treasurer. Where are the treasurer's reports? The documents provided after our Public Information Act request do not appear to have been done by the Treasurer. 3. Do the trustees have a written code of ethics? Does it address conflicts of interest? If so, where can it be found? It is not posted on the library web site.
Budget On Aug. 3, Jack Stenger brought up whether or not the Rock Hall Branch should be closed or turned over to the town. At the time, there was no decision, and the trustees said they would wait for a report from the Mayor and Council. As far as I can tell, the specific proposal was never discussed with Rock Hall's mayor and council. It has not come up in any library trustees meeting since. Was there any discussion by anyone with the mayor and council? If so, what is the report? And what action does the board intend to take on this?
Next, library staffing and policies 1. How many library employees work from home? What is the public library's personnel policy on telecommuting or working from home? Where can the public find this information? And how many hours per week does each staff member spend working from home?
w ho IS 1"k Sov.rOl2. Our sources say the staffhas said they've got no confidence in the board of trustees. Last week they asked one or more to resign. When, and how, do you plan to address this?
The board president insists the trustees can discuss any sort of personnel issue behind closed doors to preserve confidentiality. Of course, personnel records and the board's discussion of personnel action are entitled to privacy. Ireceived a call Tuesday morning from a county commissioner who heard fro t:':a little birdie" at the board decided to ask Jerry Keiser to resign. When contacted, Jerry told me he orize the release of any information. Someone privy to the closed session Monday afternoon talked about confidential board personnel bu~ines~. A post ~nt~e Chest~wrrS~' "confidential source" announced Keiser's resignation and tied It to tI1eRock Hall Branch LIbrary.
- --'This is the most serious kind of ethical violation, since there are state and federal laws that cover personnel confidentiality.
How will the board identify the leaker? And will he or she resign from the board in order to keep future personnel information from reaching the ears of the county commissioners?