Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: Monday, June 10, 2013


MONDAY, JUNE 10th, 2013
4:45 PM at 300 Bridge Street, Bellows Falls

In Attendance: Jan Mitchell-Love, Hope Brissette, Laura Senes, Deborah Wright, Pat Fowler, Carolyn Frisa, Steven Fuller, David Buckley, Paige Pietrzak, Emily Zervas and Sam Maskell.
Public members in attendance: Elayne Clift, Anne Parkman, Diane Brown, Arnold Clift, Barbara Stickney, Jackie Hewitt, Betty Haggerty, Allegra Maskell, Bob Hewitt, Bob Patch, Ed Warner, Wesley Nies, Deirdre Fuchs, Alma Beals, Donna Stevens, Debbi Wetzel, Adam Wetzel, Susie Peters, Cathy Bergmann.

1. Call to order 4:52 pm.

2. Executive Session: A motion was made by Hope Brissette to move into executive session to discuss a personnel issue. This motion, seconded by Deborah Wright, passed with 7 in favor and 2 abstentions. Executive session ended with no action taken. Call meeting back to order 5:03.

3. Approval of past minutes: May 13th, 2013 trustees’ meeting: The draft minutes have two errors. Under #4 Director’s Monthly Report and Financial Report, the motion was to move the funds available from propane from the renovation budget to the operating budget to cover the expense of the new phone system. Célina Houlné can approve the work order as soon as possible. Under #7 Renovation plans the minutes should say ‘Monday-Friday 9-2, and Friday evening 7-9.’ Motion to approve May 13, 2013 minutes as amended, seconded by Steven Fuller, passed with 7 in favor and 2 abstentions.

May 18th, 2013 trustees’ special meeting: Motion made by Hope Brissette to approve the draft minutes for May 18, 2013, seconded by Paige Pietrzak, passed with 7 in favor and 2 abstentions.

May 22nd, 2013 trustees’ special meeting: Motion made by Hope Brissette to approve the draft minutes for May 18, 2013, seconded by Laura Senes, passed with 7 in favor and 2 abstentions.

Outstanding, unapproved draft minutes: April 8th, 2013 trustees’ meeting, April 17th, 2013 trustees’ special meeting, May 1st, 2013 trustees’ special meeting, and May 6th, 2013 trustees’ special meeting: Jan Mitchell-Love and Pat Fowler will meet next week to review these minutes to check for accuracy, professionalism and legality and then bring recommendations back to the full board.

4. Monthly Financial Report: three documents: a. Balance Sheet Current Year – Period 11 May (2 pages); b. Current Yr Pd: 11 Year Budget Status Report (4 pages); & c.

Investment Accounts July 2012-May 2013 (1 page): Review of reports. Any questions may be directed to one member of the finance committee (Deborah Wright, Steven Fuller and David Buckley) who will email Mary Van Hartesveldt.

5. Committee Reports
a. Building – there will be no reports until we are back in the library building.
b. Communications – no report, as the committee has not met.
c. Finance – Deb Wright will contact Mary with any questions.
d. Historical Collection – Carolyn Frisa: Committee has not met. Planning on meeting in the next few weeks.
e. Personnel – Jan Mitchell-Love: The committee will meet on June 13th, 9:30 at Mack’s Café in Grafton about this year’s evaluation.
f. Policy A: Has not met again.
g. Policy B – Hope Brissette: Met in an emergency meeting to discuss Union membership, which will be covered under agenda item #9b. They also reviewed the bylaws from #9 to the end. A meeting will be planned with policy group A to review all suggested revisions.

7. Renovation plans – see Chip’s e-mailed report of June 6th, 2013/9 a.m. sub meeting on Tuesday: The elevator is now scheduled to be installed in late July. At this point the town is about $62,000 short on the library project.

8. Old Business from 6/4/13 meeting

a. Updated moving expense report – Emily Zervas and Samantha Maskell present new and revised estimates. Sovernet has waived the fees for moving circuits, and there will be no fee for the security system. Our accident policy through the Vermont League of Cities and Towns covers up to $50,000. Deborah Wright made a motion to extend up to $2000 in moving costs, not including network money or rental costs. This motion, seconded by Hope Brissette, passed with 6 in favor, 2 opposed and 1 abstention.

b. Director’s staffing schedule for next 2 months at 41 The Square location: Not needed, covered at the last meeting.

c. Review/Discussion of 41 The Square contract requiring authorized RFPL signature to execute: Pat Fowler made a motion to allow the chair of the trustees to sign the contract to rent 41 The Square for the period necessary for the elevator to be installed and certified, and a certificate of occupancy is issued. This motion, passed with 6 in favor, 2 opposed and 1 abstention.

d. Discuss Letter of Concern – Deb: Discussion of letter written from Carolyn Frisa sent to State Librarian Martha Reid, the Deputy Secretary of State and the Vermont Attorney General, with a copy to the town lawyer. Deborah Wright discussed the need to support each other as a board. Carolyn Frisa stated that the letter reflected her personal opinion and that she sought legal counsel prior to sending the letter. Jan Mitchell-Love advised that letters should not be sent to the town lawyer, as we will be charged for his time.

9. New Business

a. 2012 Personnel Policy: This version of the policy was not approved of properly, as it never went through the Policy Committee before being voted on at a regular meeting. Steven Fuller made a motion to send the 2012 Personnel Policy back to the Policy Committee to compare to the 2008 policy, and bring back recommendations to the board. This motion, seconded by David Buckley passed with 8 votes in favor and 1 abstention.

b. Union #92 membership request – Emily Zervas and Samantha Maskell: An emergency policy committee meeting was held to discuss union membership request of the full time library employees. Deborah Wright made a motion to voluntarily recognize local #92 for an appropriate bargaining unit to be determined. This motion, seconded by Hope Brissette, passed with 6 in favor, 1 opposed and 2 abstentions.

10. Executive Session: Not needed.

11. Review agenda items for next meeting, Monday, July 8th at 4:45 p.m.: Agenda items to include the training by Amy Howlett and discussion of 2012 Personnel Policy. The meeting time will be changed to 5:00 pm, by consensus.

12. Public comment: Several members of the public questioned the safety of having volunteers help move to 41 The Square. Members of the public discussed having public comment at the beginning of the meeting and being accepted during the meeting. Arnold Clift requested his letter written to the Rockingham Board of Trustees be read and included in the minutes.

13. Adjourn: Motion to adjourn made by Hope Brissette, seconded by Paige Pietrzak, passed unanimously at 6:44 pm.

These minutes respectfully submitted by Secretary Laura Senes, June 19, 2013

Letter submitted to the public record by Arnold Clift:
June 6, 2013

Dear Trustee,
For your information I attach a copy of a Statement I made to the Town of Rockingham Select Board on June 4 2013, regarding the Trustees’ handling of current matters affecting the Rockingham Free Public Library. I request that this statement be read aloud at the next meeting of the Trustees and entered into the record. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
(Arnold J Clift)


Members of the Select Board and some of the public present here today will be aware of the decision of the Library Trustees to close the Library building until current renovations are complete. There are no valid reasons why the building should not have remained opened. The decision by the Trustees was made despite a unanimous resolution passed by the Select Board that the Library should remain open. It was also made with complete disregard for the views of many library users, including Friends of the Library, who also felt strongly that the library should remain open during renovations. The library has already been closed for a week and we still do not know for certain when library services will be available at an alternative location.

I have just come from a Meeting of the Library Trustees where estimates were discussed for moving library services during renovations to the old Merchant Bank building. These estimates ranged from $7,000 to $10,000—of taxpayers’ money. Why did not the Trustees not consider cost factors before reaching a hasty and ill-considered decision to close the Library building? At to-day’s meeting the Board could not even agree to finance the cost of moving nor sign the contract for leasing the Merchants Bank’s space. What a fiasco! More immediately, members of the public have recently become aware that the Library Director has herself come under direct personal criticism from a number of Trustees for the way in which she has performed her duties. These Trustees have concocted an eight page “Corrective Memorandum” which, among other things, accuses her of “improper fiscal management” and imposes unreasonable additional demands upon the Director. Some believe that this is all part of a campaign by some of the Trustees to create a pretext for dismissing the Director.

Those who are close to the Library and use its services are quite appalled at this turn of events. Many current library users, including a number of former Trustees, can attest to the diligence, efficiency, enthusiasm and total dedication of the Librarian and her staff in making Rockingham a model library. As a leader, the Librarian has won the respect and strong support of all her staff. They are together a wonderful team and the public must not allow their achievements to be undermined.

I urge members of the public to make their views known by writing to the Board of Trustees c/o the Rockingham Library.

Arnold J Clift