Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: June 10, 2014

JUNE 10, 2014

Click here to download a .pdf of these minutes.

Present: Doreen Aldrich, Carol Blackwood, Hope Brissette, Patricia Fowler, Carolyn Frisa, David Gould, L. Raymond Massucco, Jan Mitchell-Love, Trustees; Chris Garofolo, Eagle Times; Dominic Poli, Brattleboro Reformer; Allison Teague, The Commons and Jake Stradling, FACT 8, Press; Steven Ankuda and Richard Bowen, Attorneys; Emily Zervas, Samantha Maskell and Mary VanHartesveldt, Library Others: Karen Fischer, Steve Geller, Celina Houlne

Call to Order: The chairman brought the meeting to order at 6:20 p.m. He asked if it would be ok to change the order of the items on the agenda as members of the press were present and anxious to get to another venue.

Public Comments: None

Approval of Minutes of May 13, 2014: Frisa moved to approve the minutes of May 13th as printed; seconded by Fowler. Six were in favor and two abstentions as they were not present at that meeting. The motion carried.

Old Business:
Trustee Replacement: The Chair announced that we have a person who has volunteered to serve as a new trustee, Karen Fischer, and he introduced her. He added that he has known her for six or seven years and has enjoyed his association with her very much. He read her bio. Fischer added that she has been particularly interested in connecting with Frisa who she hadn’t met yet. A couple of years ago she spent time at the Williamstown Regional Conservation Laboratory, it was only a month long internship; but she is very interested in conservation work on paper so if there are any projects involving the historical collection, that is something she’d be happy being involved in. Frisa advised that they have a lot of work to do. Carol Blackwood moved to nominate Ms. Fischer to be a replacement trustee to serve out the remainder of Paige Pietrzak’s term until the next election and to notify the select board. Frisa seconded the motion and the motion passed with six in favor and two abstentions.

Directors’ Report: The report is attached and made a part of these minutes. One item not on the list; Mary VanHartesveldt reached her upper limit of approved vacation and hasn’t been able to take any time because of the hectic year. She has been shorted 11.93 hours of vacation time in the past two months. Zervas asked the board to consider asking town hall to restore that amount to her account. We hope she will be able to take vacation time soon. Frisa moved that 11.93 hours of vacation time be restored to Mary VanHartesveldt’s account; seconded by Mitchell-Love. The motion carried unanimously. Another announcement from the staff is that they will be closing the library on Monday, June 16th for a workshop with Michael Roche and will reopen the library at 1:00 p.m.

Financial Reports: VanHartesveldt presented printouts and advised there aren’t a lot of changes since last month. They’re still looking at having a positive balance at the end of the year. Mitchell-Love asked why some items are higher. On Page 2, Salaries Full-Time/Part-Time. VanHartesveldt explained that the full-time salaries are higher because the two full-time people who have been paid more have been working extra hours. Part-time are actually lower. Mitchell-Love asked about Page 3, Electricity – why is that higher than it was projected to be? VanHartesveldt asked if she was comparing it to the projection last month and Jan said yes. Mary said she thinks she dropped it last month because the last bill came in lower than expected. Jan then asked about the property and liability; is it higher because we’re still facing the situation with the town? VanHartesveldt responded “Yes”. Massucco asked VanHartesveldt how long after the fiscal year closes does she expect to have final figures for FY 2014. VanHartesveldt explained that they get the initial figures right away and then there are several other postings that happen, i.e. accounts payable that they don’t have invoices for, etc. They usually get two statements; but they are not final. They wait for the auditors which, typically, is October-November before they have real figures.

Personnel Committee:
Approval of Library Director’s Job Description: Not all trustees had a copy so this item put off until the next regular scheduled meeting. Executive Session To Discuss The Contract With Celina Houlne: Attorney Ankuda was not present so Mitchell-Love and Brissette proposed moving to Committee Reports.

Committee Reports:
Finance Committee: Fowler advised that she went to the bank in Springfield today and has a check for $5,606.00 which is from the Windham Foundation, the Whitcomb donation for computer material. Gould said it is his understanding that the library is now operating under the same federal I.D. number as the town; therefore, our town treasurer should be a signer on all of our accounts and the town needs to have a list of the various accounts and the town treasurer is to get statements. Mitchell-Love asked who the town treasurer is and Gould responded, Doreen.

Mr. Ankuda arrived and Fowler moved that we go into executive session to discuss the contract for the library director position and invite Atty. Ankuda in; seconded by Frisa. There was one abstention and the motion carried.

The regular meeting resumed at 7:27 p.m. Fowler moved to accept the contract with Celina Houlne as printed and Frisa seconded. The motion carried with six in favor, two opposed and the contract was approved. Ankuda recommended that the board authorize Gould to sign on behalf of the board. Massucco moved to authorize David Gould, Chair, to sign the contract on behalf of the board, seconded by Frisa. The motion carried.

Buildings and Grounds Committee:
Mitchell-Love asked if there is a list of who is on what committees and Gould said there is. She said she did not get that. Brissette asked for a list of trustees, their contact information and the committees they are on. Gould will get that out to all the trustees. Landscaping: The chair advised that Emily addressed the “Landscaping”; that she is working on that, west of the building. We did determine that the trees that are planted there now were purchased out of renovation money at $65.00 each and the neighbors next door purchased one to help offset the cost. Theoretically, we own the trees; but they have to be moved so we could probably sell those trees to interested parties and give them a break if they come in and move them. Brissette asked who met to talk about the trees. Gould responded that Emily and he met. Fowler asked who the building committee is. Gould responded, “Hope and myself”. Fowler added that Hope is wondering why no one consulted her. Gould said it is his fault and he will get it corrected.

New Sign: Gould advised that they are still concerned about the sign; but there is no immediate rush on that and it is possible that Frank Hawkins might be able to come up with something at a more reasonable cost that thought. This is ongoing.

Historical Collection Committee: No report. She asked committee members to stay after the meeting to schedule a meeting time.

Policy Committee: Blackwood said there have been multiple efforts to look at by-laws and it is time we make it happen. She looked at the previous efforts and how the by-laws currently exist and did a draft proposal which was sent out to the board for comments. It is her hope those comments will come back to the committee to come up with a finalized draft. One or two errors have already been pointed out to her so changes to this draft have to be made. She will be in touch with the committee to set up a time to go over and, hopefully, at the next meeting, we can present draft by-laws that will be acceptable to the board. Frisa asked if she wants comments sent directly to her and Blackwood said that would be good and she would send out to the rest of the committee. Mitchell-Love asked who is on the committee. Blackwood said herself, Aldrich, Massucco and Frisa. Mitchell-Love asked if they had input on this. Blackwood said that is why she put “Draft”. Mitchell-Love asked, “Your committee didn’t have any input”? Blackwood responded that the committee had input with the previous things; but that particular drafting was done by herself. That is why it is a draft. Brissette asked if soliciting information from trustees is breaking the open meeting law. Frisa said no; one trustee can email another on a document. Massucco said it is just one trustee sending to another. Mitchell-Love said if all the trustees send their comments and something needs doing —- it needs to be done in public. Fowler said we should all be copying the depository every time that we send an email out. Frisa said in order to write a document efficiently, one person writes a draft, sends it out and the individuals send comments back. That person compiles the comments and has a meeting.

New Business: Brissette asked if we could change the Tuesday meetings. She’d like to attend the Trustee Meetings. Maskell will work with Gould on a doodle poll.

The next meeting will be July 8, 2014 at 6:15 p.m.

Aldrich moved to adjourn at 7:45; seconded by Frisa. The motion carried.
Respectfully submitted__________________________June 13, 2014 Doreen Aldrich

Director’s Report June 10, 2014

• Floor Machine Update: After trying two different models, the library chose to purchase a $1,600 Viper floor machine through Keene Industrial Paper. It will be delivered in the next two weeks.
• Emily is working with different plant providers, installers, and the highway department to see if we can come up with a cost-effective plan to implement Julie Messervy’s landscaping design.
• No Smoking signs for both from entrances and the bench in front of the Library are being provided by Great Falls Connections (Formerly Greater Falls Prevention Coalition).
• ARC Mechanical visited the library to respond to some vents not working and errors showing up on the control panel. They showed Emily how to clean the various re-usable filters throughout the building and said this should be done 3 times per year. They also encouraged us to have our annual maintenance done soon. Emily is looking into different vendors for the annual maintenance contract for the HVAC system.

Programs and Services
• Summer Reading Program – Lots of elementary and middle school classes visited the Library over the last few weeks to hear about the summer reading program. Sign-ups have already started and kids are filling out their reading logs. The programs will be starting on June 23, which is about a week after schools get out for the summer.
• Little Lit: Math and Science – Sam provided two different Early Literacy – one for Math and Science Early Literacy for Parents and another training on Early Literacy for Caregivers. These trainings are provided through a partnership between the Library and the WNESU Early Ed Center with support from a Vermont Early Literacy Initiative grant.
• The Friends of the Library Plant Sale was well attended and enjoyed by all. It raised $668.50 for The Friends.
• The Library presented Tim Brookes’, “How the Guitar Conquered America”, to a small, but very enthusiastic crowd; this was a Vermont Humanities Council program.
• Wes Nies presented a genealogy program titled “Finding Your Royal Ancestors” on May 14th to the Geanology Work Group plus a few additional participants.
• Elayne Clift presented a wonderful program on doulas and the history of birth assistance on May 22nd.
• RFPL Reads, the adult book group, gathered on May 29th to discuss the various Hetty Green biographies that have been written over the years. The group also enjoyed looking at some of Hetty’s possessions and photographs of Hetty from the Library’s historical collections. The book group’s next choice is Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander. The group will meet on July 11th.

• Librarians finished up putting in their final materials orders and we are getting ready to close out the fiscal year.
• Emily presented on Reference Service Using New Technologies at the Vermont Library Conference on May 20th.
• New library cards featuring our wonderful new logo have been ordered and will be available in a few weeks.