Plattekill Public Library

Board of Trustees

March 9, 2017


The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.


Present were:                Lynne Ridgeway, President; Valerie Smith, Vice President; Trustee; Will Farrell, Trustee; Luz Ledesma, Trustee; Joe Egan, Trustee;  John Georghiou, Director; Donna Ebanks, Secretary


Excused: Trustees David Padilla and Karen Adamson; Treasurer Barbara Jacobini


Guests: Town Councilman Dean DePew; Town Councilwoman Cindy Delgado; Maryann DePew; SUT Reporter Mark Reynolds


Public Comment:

Mark Reynolds asked Board President Lynne Ridgeway if the Board had received any correspondence from the attorney for the seller of the cider mill property with regards to the check for $9250; she replied that none has been received.



Public Health and Social Services Committee of Ulster County gave a bravo for its Dyslexic initiative to Plattekill Public Library and catalysts, Barbara Jacobini and Donna Ebanks.


A thank you letter was received from Toys for Tots thanking the Library for being a collection drop off location during the 2016 winter holiday season.


Secretary’s Report:


           Motion to accept the minutes of the January 14, 2017, Board meeting was made by Will Farrell and seconded by Luz Ledesma; all others were in favor.


February 9 Board meeting was canceled due to snow.


Financial Report:

The Board reviewed the March 9 bookkeeper’s report and the warrant of checks was circulated for signatures.


John noted there were 2 additional checks that did not have purchase orders; he requested the Board vote on approving the checks and Barbara will prepare the purchase orders when she returns from vacation.


           Motion to ratify the February checks was made by Will Farrell and seconded by Luz Ledesma; all others were in favor.


           Motion to approve the checks pending audit was made by Will Farrell and seconded by Luz Ledesma; all others were in favor.


           Motion to approve the payroll for January and February was made by Joe Egan and seconded by Will Farrell; all others were in favor.



Lynne informed the Board that the Library is currently undergoing an audit by the State Comptroller’s Office.  John stated that the Comptroller’s Office requested the Board pass a standard workday resolution.


           For the purpose of NYS retirement calculations, the standard workday for Clerk, Library Clerk, Library Assistant, Library Director 1 and Page will be 6 hours per day,  motion was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Luz Ledesma; all others were in favor.


Lynne noted that Nugent & Haeussler is working on their audit reports and asked that Board members submit any outstanding documentation directly to Nugent & Haeussler. Lynne reminded the Board that most expenditures need Board approval prior to incurring the expense and Barbara must be notified so that she will have all supporting documentation. 


Will stated that frequently the Board forgets to vote on items that were discussed during Executive session.


           Motion to approve the payment of $2220 to Whiteman Osterman & Hannah for services rendered in 2016, for an amount that exceeds the purchase order, was made by Joe Egan and seconded by Luz Ledesma; all others were in favor. 


           Motion to approve payment of $2500 to the Town of Plattekill, to be placed in escrow for attorney fees and negotiation of the current Library property was made by Joe Egan and seconded by Will Farrell; all others were in favor.


           Motion to approve all purchase orders for 2017 was made by Luz Ledesma and seconded by Will Farrell; all other were in favor.


The check for $2500 for the Town of Plattekill was turned over to Councilman DePew following his signing of a receipt form.


Director’s Report

Was read and discussed.

February and March Director’s Reports are attached to these minutes.


Committee Reports:



Unfinished Business:

Some of the policies involved in the Annual Review of Policies as assigned at the 1/12/17 meeting are still outstanding and need to be completed as soon as possible as this is a requirement of the Auditor.


New Business:

Lynne noted the following changes should be made to the Annual Report:


·         Page 24: change date from October 22 to October 7

·         Page 21: question 16 – the number of weeks should be 52


           Motion to approve the Annual Report pending potential changes was made by Will Farrell and seconded by Valerie Smith; all others were in favor.


           Motion to extend Food for Fines until the end of March was made by Will Farrell and seconded by Valerie Smith; all others were in favor.


“Meet the Authors” Day Dinner is at the Nu-Cavu on April 4.  Board members who wish to attend should notify Donna.


Valerie stated that she had an addition to the agenda and made the following statement:


The Board is distracted and public confidence is low. Rebekkah agrees the Board is not in a position for a bond issue:

§         We are using up precious & expensive attorney time on petty, basic questions and one-sentence emails.

§         We are unable to communicate with each other in a minimally civil way.

§         We do not respect each other.

§         We cannot even agree on what we have agreed upon!

§         We air our internal disagreements publicly.

§         We disagree about fundamentals of negotiation.

§         We are distracted from the everyday governance of the library, and disagree about how it should be accomplished.

§         Public confidence in us is very low.

§         Although the library continues to operate on a remarkably high level, the disagreement within the Board is negatively affecting the morale of the staff.

§         Even MHLS believes we are not in a condition as a board to do public outreach about a new building now—Rebekkah refused to do training for this in our current state.

§         In short, we are not in a good position for campaigning for a bond issue, let alone preliminary negotiation with the Town.

         For these reasons, and more, I am making a motion that we declare a moratorium of a year on negotiation for this or any other property. The priority is that we get our board back to working shape and rebuild our confidence in each other, so we can repair the damage done to our public reputation. Then we can move forward to get the public the library facilities it deserves. No second was made.  Motion failed.

The Board engaged in a discussion regarding the problems and obstacles presented during the time which they have been trying to purchase a suitable property for a new Library.  Valerie said Board members need to come together as a Board; she also indicated that the current Library building does not adequately serve the community’s needs.   Joe noted that all Board members are aware of the current building’s limitations and the future plan in discussion is to build a new library on the current property.


Luz stated that rather than a moratorium, the Board moves forward with exploring the purchase of the current Library property, and the bond issue should not be on the table.  Lynne reminded the Board that the issue has been turned over to the attorneys for the Library and there is not an exploratory committee at this time.




           Motion to adjourn was made at 8:34pm by Luz Ledesma and seconded by Will Farrell; all others were in favor.


Respectfully submitted by:



Donna Ebanks



Attachments filed with original:                Agenda

Bookkeeper’s Report, Director’s Reports