MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PLATTEKILL PUBLIC LIBRARY: March, 2019 

BACK TO MINUTES INDEX                         BACK TO LIBRARY MAIN PAGE


 

Plattekill Public Library 

Board of Trustees Meeting 

March 19, 2019 

 

The meeting was called to order at 7 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Present were:Will Farrell, President; Luz Ledesma, Vice President;  

Valerie Smith, Trustee; Joe Egan, Trustee; Robert Schofield, Attorney for the Plattekill Library; John Georghiou, Interim Director; Mayleen Torres-Rivera, Bookkeeper; Donna Ebanks, Acting Director/Secretary 

David Padilla will be late. 

 

Guests: Dean Depew, Town Councilman; Darryl Matthews, Town Councilman; Rose Guerrieri, Friend of the Plattekill Library; George Hickey; Gladys Figueroa, Friend of the Plattekill Library; and other members of the public. 

 

Attorney: 

1.Improperly filed Oath of Office by G. Hickey: 

Board President W. Farrell reviewed the circumstances that caused Mr. Hickey’s term of office to become vacated, specifically, the failure to file the Oath with the Ulster County Clerk’s office within thirty days of taking office.  

 

Mr. Schofield:  Public Officer’s Law requires an elected officer of Special District libraries to file their notarized Oath of Office with the clerk of the county in which the library is located, within thirty days of taking office.   Failure to do so empowers the Board to fill the vacancy by a Special Election or appointment until the next Trustee election.  Mr. Hickey was elected to the position, reinstating him by motion with a majority vote of the Trustees would be complying with the will of the electorate. Another seat is open due to a Trustee resigning which could be filled by the candidate who received the second highest number of votes from the most recent election. These two appointments would be effective until the next Trustee election. 

 

Trustee L. Ledesma recommended moving the decision for reinstating Mr. Hickey to the April Board meeting to allow Trustees time to review the options for filling these open seats. 

 

Trustee J. Egan objected noting the vacated seat has been open since January.   

 

Discussion was delayed at this point pending the arrival of Trustee D. Padilla 

 

2.Letter of Complaint by L. Ridgeway: 

W. Farrell stated that because the letter of complaint by former Board President L. Ridgeway was not effective, he recommends no further discussion of this agenda item per consultation with Mr. Schofield on this matter.  

 

V. Smith requested that W. Farrell refrain from conversations with the Mr. Schofield that the whole Board is not privy to.  Board and attorney communications should be via email so that all Board members are included in the discussion.  Mr. Schofield said he would resume copying all Board members on email correspondence.  

 

3.Quorum: 

Mr. Schofield: Pending a change to the Library’s charter, the number of Board members for Plattekill Public Library is seven and requires four affirmative votes for motions to pass. The by-laws conflict with the Library’s legislative law regarding the number that constitutes a quorum. Mr. Schofield recommends having the by-laws revised and will email the Board a customized model to begin working with.  

 

7:45: Trustee David Padilla arrived. 

 

4.PPL Investment Policy – Delegation of Authority: 

Plattekill Public Investment Policy  

3. Delegation of Authority   Management responsibility for the Library's investment program is hereby delegated to the Budget and Finance Committee, which includes the Treasurer, who is the Library's chief fiscal officer. The signatories to the Bank Accounts shall be responsible for the implementation of the investment program and the establishment of investment procedures consistent with this Policy. No person may engage in an investment transaction except as provided under the terms of this Policy and the procedures established by Board resolution.  

 

L. Ledesma requested clarification from W. Farrell and J. Egan on how it was possible for individual Board members to invest Library moneys on behalf of the Board, without a meeting of the Budget & Finance Committee and a recommendation brought before the Board.  W. Farrell said his understanding of the Investment Policy, specifically line two in item three of Delegation of Authority, which states: The signatories to the Bank Accounts shall be responsible for the implementation of the investment program and the establishment of investment procedures consistent with this Policy, permitted such actions. W. Farrell said while he was surprised to see the policy written this way, he determined that by virtue of this language, as signatories to the accounts he and J. Egan were within their scope of power to implement invests on behalf of the Library.  

 

L. Ledesma disagreed with this interpretation, stating that the implementation of investments would be done by the signatories once the Board had voted on the Budget & Finance Committee’s recommendation as referenced in line one: Management responsibility for the Library's investment program is hereby delegated to the Budget and Finance Committee, which includes the Treasurer, who is the Library's chief fiscal officer. L. Ledesma said that she is on the Budget & Finance Committee as Chair of that committee, and neither she nor the Treasurer, who serves on that Committee as well, were included or consulted in the determination of investments, or informed that investments were going to be made. 

 

Mr. Schofield: The Investment Policy lacks clarity on the point of delegation of authority and should not be assigned and limited to a committee. The Office of the State Comptroller does not recommend Trustees as signatories on library accounts, as the office of “Trustee” and the office of “Custodian of Funds” are incompatible.  No Trustee should have access to the funds. It is advised a Treasurer be appointed as signatory who is not a Trustee.  A Trustee may be a signatory as a backup, followed by the Board having the approval process and the Treasurer the implementation process.  

 

Mr. Schofield is in conversation with M&T bank regarding the recent investments and possible issues, as the CDs were not sold to the Library by M&T Bank but rather by M&T Securities; he will apprise the Board next week after his discussions with M&T Bank representatives. Valerie noted that the documents say the investments may not be FDIC insured. Mr. Schofield stated that the Library may have to request M&T Bank reverse the transactions due to legal technicalities and the possibility of the investments not being insured.   

L. Ledesma stated that the bank documents imply that the signatories made this investment with Board approval by resolution.   

 

→Motion to freeze all investment transfers until such time as we amend our Investment Policy except for the reversal of the recent investment if deemed necessary was made by L. Ledesma and seconded b J. Egan; all were in favor and the motion passed. 

 

Continuation of item 1: Oath of Office G. Hickey: 

Will suggested the Board consider appointing Rose Guerrieri to fill the seat created by L. Ridgeway’s resignation as Ms. Guerrieri received the next highest number of votes in the most recent election.  

 

→Motion to appoint George Hickey to fill the vacancy created by the failure to file the oath of office, until the next election was made by J. Egan and seconded by D. Padilla. 

On the vote: Yes- JE; DP; WF. No: VS; LL.  Motion failed. 

 

→Motion to appoint Rose Guerrieri to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Lynne Ridgeway until the next election, was made by V. Smith and seconded by L. Ledesma. 

On the vote: Yes- VS; LL. No- JE; DP; WF. Motion failed 

 

→Motion that there be no further discussion of L. Ridgeway’s letter to the Library Commissioner was made J. Egan and seconded by D. Padilla.  

On the vote: Yes - JE; LL; DP; WF.  No -VS. Motion passed.  

 

L. Ledesma requested the motions to appoint G. Hickey and R. Guerrier as Trustees be added to the April Board meeting agenda, or be revisited for further discussion at the end of this meeting.  

 

Mr. Schofield: In order for the Board to resume this discussion, a Trustee who was of the majority vote would have to ask for a motion to reconsider. Should that motion pass, the vote would then be on the table without discussion.   

 

Correspondence: 

None 

Financial Report: 

→Motion to approve payment of the bills pending audit was made by L. Ledesma and seconded D. Padilla.  All were in favor and the motion passed. 

→Motion to approve payment of the payroll for the past month was made by 

L. Ledesma and seconded by D. Padilla.  All were in favor and the motion passed. 

Items of note: 

 

Public Comment:  

Member of the Public Donna Egan, voiced concerns that as a taxpayer she is disappointed in the Board’s inability to unify and move forward with the business of the Library.  

 

→Motion to reconsider the vote on appointing Trustees to fill the two vacant positions until the next Trustee election was made by J. Egan and seconded by D. Padilla 

On the vote: Yes- JE; WF; DP; LL. NO – VS. The motion passed.  

 

Statement: 

V. Smith stated that her reluctance is a result of G. Hickey having been on the  

Board previously and was told at the most recent appointment how to file the oath, but did not properly do so.  Additionally, she is of the opinion that he does not have the 

interests of the Library in mind.  

 

→Motion to appoint George Hickey to fill the vacancy created by the failure to file the oath of office, until the next election was made by J. Egan and seconded by D. Padilla. 

On the vote: Yes- JE; DP; WF; LL. No: VS. Motion passed. 

 

→Motion to appoint Rose Guerrieri to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Lynne Ridgeway until the next election, was made by V. Smith and seconded by L. Ledesma. 

On the vote: Yes- JE; DP; WF; LL; VS.  All were in favor and the motion passed. 

 

Secretary’s Report: 

→Motion to accept the February 14, 2019 Board meeting minutes was made by J. Egan and seconded by L. Ledesma.  All others were in favor and the motion passed.   

 

Director’s Report: 

Was read and discussed. 

 

Committee Reports: 

The Policy Committee met on March 7, and the minutes were distributed via email prior to the Board meeting. J. Egan recommends the Board review one to two policies at each monthly Board meeting.  

Board President W. Farrell and Trustee J. Egan met with M&T Bank and transferred money to CDs on March 7, 2019.  

 

Unfinished Business: 

→Motion to approve the NYS Annual Report was made by W. Farrell and seconded by D. Padilla.  All were in favor and the motion passed. 

 

New Business: 

MHLS has Trustee training available this spring. 

  

Adjournment: 

→Motion to adjourn at 9:20pm was made by W. Farrell 

 

Respectfully submitted by: 

 

Donna Ebanks 

Secretary