MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PLATTEKILL PUBLIC LIBRARY: JULY, 2014

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Plattekill Public Library

Board of Trustees

July 10, 201 4

The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Present were:               

Lynne Ridgeway, President; Valerie Smith, Vice President; Keith Canfield, Treasurer; Karen Adamson, Assistant Treasurer; David Padilla, Trustee; Will Farrell, Trustee; John Georghiou, Director; Donna Ebanks, Secretary.

Joseph Egan was excused.

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich of the Mid-Hudson Library System was also present.  Ms. Smith Aldrich provided the Board with recommendations based upon her review of the pre-retreat survey she had previously distributed to all Board members.  The following information was presented:

Report to the Plattekill Library Board of Trustees | Re: Board Self-Assessment

Provided by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability | July 10, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Self-Assessment. Boards that evaluate themselves and consciously use the results to improve their performance are a credit to their community.

The results of your collective self-assessment revealed that there are some very basic things to bring into alignment.

Below are recommendations to help you do just that.

Recommendation #1: Develop a Trustee Orientation Program

I understand there is a trustee manual that each trustee receives. I'd like to recommend that you create a more formal process to on-board trustees- to bring them up to speed on what is going on at the library, familiarize trustees with board approved policies and procedures and to clarify the role of a public library trustee. A program could include the following topics:

• Purpose & Services; tour of the facility and the library's web site

• Board Operations: organization (bylaws); roles and goals; meeting procedures

• Fiscal Oversight (reports, documents, decisions)

• Key operational relationships

I am recommending this program be developed as soon as possible and be administered to the entire board to ensure the current working group has the same level of understanding about critical operation issues. I would suggest the director take the lead in making this happen, perhaps with the help of a few trustees.

Recommendation #2: Optimize Board Meeting Communications

• A meeting packet should be prepared and sent out at least a week in advance of the board meeting. This should give trustees enough time to review the materials and come to meetings prepared to do business. Questions that may come up while reading the packet can be addressed to the appropriate party to decide if they are easily answered or need to be discussed in the open meeting setting.

• Contents of the packet would likely include: agenda, minutes, president's report, director's report, treasurer's report, committee reports, any other documents that are planned to be discussed at the meeting (for example, a draft policy or management letter from your auditor.)

From the Trustee Handbook: "The most effective boards concentrate their time and energy on a few issues that will have a major impact on the library's future ...

• Focus the board's attention only on issues that really matter;

• Use the board's time and structure to pursue those issues;

• Be certain that the board has the information it needs at the right time;

• Ensure that the board works as an effective corporate unit."

Recommendation #3: Committee Structure

Effective use of your committee structure can streamline the workflow of a library board and help monthly board meetings run more efficiently.

• Define committee's mission and scope of work

• Create committee schedule that matches with purpose

Consider forming a temporary "Committee on Committees" to address the two items listed above. I would encourage the director to take a lead in helping committees achieve their goals.

Recommendation #4: Relationship with the Director

• There should be a "written, reasonable and up-to-date" job description in place

• The board and director should work together to agree on an evaluation process

• Evaluate the director's performance against the goals and objectives of the library's long-range and strategic plans*

• Use the opportunity to evaluate the board's performance as well

*Ideally, this should be based on the library's community-based long-range plan, however, in the absence of such a plan, short terms goals should be identified by the board and director jointly.

The following recommendations could be addressed at the board retreat planned for September 21st.

Recommendation #5: Develop a Shared Vision

The board is a collective authority, to move forward together effectively it is idea to have a shared vision for the future of the library. In a group setting discuss the following questions, all trustees should participate:

• Why did you volunteer for the board?

• What motivates you to stay involved?

• What are your hopes for the future of the library?

Where are the points of commonality amongst board members? Can you use your answers to springboard to a shared vision for the future?

Recommendation #6: Improve Community Connections through Strategic Thinking

Planning is "a smart way to pull together all decisions about budgeting, personnel, capital improvements, library services and community involvement." -Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State, by Jerry Nichols

• Engage in a strategic planning process that involved direct community input in the form of surveys, focus groups and one-on-one VIP interviews

• Conduct a publicity audit to benchmark how the library currently gets the word out and how well the word is getting out

 

Discussion followed regarding John asking for information from Trustees on an individual basis of their understanding of policies and procedures.  Deadline agreed to was July 17th for all Trustees to provide this information to John.  All Committee Chairs (or anyone responsible for a report or action item) should submit their information to the Board President at least a week before the next Board meeting.  Email communication is essential in doing business in a timely manner. Trustees should check their email on a daily basis for Library business.  The Committee on Committees (JG, LR & DP) will develop the committee job descriptions.  All meetings must be accessible to the public therefore the Library is the best meeting place.  Committee meetings are open to the public.  The Personnel Committee Chair agreed to have the Director’s job description finalized by the end of the month.

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The Board meeting began at 8:15PM

Additions to the Agenda

None

Public Comment:

None

Correspondence:

None

Secretary’s Report:

David requested the June minutes be revised with the language “read and discussed” removed from the section that presents the Director’s Report as the Board did not complete that action at that time.

The Secretary’s report for the June 12th Meeting was tabled until the August meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Financial Report:

           Motion to approve payment of the bills pending audit was made by David Padilla and seconded by Karen Adamson; all others were in favor.

Director’s Report:

The remainder of the June Report was read and discussed

           Motion to eliminate Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day from the holiday schedule and make them regular work days with the staff receiving time and one half pay for the 2015 Calendar was made by Will Farrell and seconded by Karen Adamson.  Karen Adamson, Keith Canfield, Will Farrell and David Padilla were in favor.  Lynne Ridgeway and Valerie Smith were opposed.  Motion passed.

The July Report was read and discussed

John presented the Facility Plan Outline required for the NYS Construction Grant submission.

           Motion to approve the facility plan outline for the possible new building was made by Keith Canfield and seconded by David Padilla; all others were in favor.

John requested brief biographical information from all Trustees for Grant submissions.  See his July report for sample sketch.

John informed the Board the Library would be able to use the Community Room beneath the Library on September 25, 2014 for the Library Budget vote.  This is a Thursday and the vote will take place from 12PM to 9PM.  Due to our usual Chairperson’s inability to be available that date, Val was asked to check with Jane Gregory to see if she would be willing.

Discussion determined the Friends of the Plattekill Public Library would produce two postcard mailings for the purpose of alerting registered voters of the Library budget vote.  The first mailing will go out on August 28, and the second will go out on September 18.

Additionally, the Library newsletter will inform the public they must register to vote if they want to vote on the Library’s budget; the Library will create a link from the Library website to the Friends’ Facebook page where additional information will be available. 

           Motion to authorize Lynne Ridgeway, President of the Plattekill Public Library Board of Trustees, to appoint a Chairperson for the election was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Karen Adamson; all others were in favor.

           Motion to appoint John Georghiou as Clerk of the election, was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Karen Adamson; all others were in favor.

           Motion to authorize the Clerk to hire two election inspectors was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Keith Canfield; all others were in favor.

           Motion to set the date of the election as September 25, 2014 was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Keith Canfield; all others were in favor.

           Motion to authorize a budget increase of 2% was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Karen Adamson.  Karen Adamson, Lynne Ridgeway, and Valerie Smith were in favor.  Keith Canfield, Will Farrell, and David Padilla were opposed.  Motion failed.

           Motion to authorize a budget increase of 1% was made by Keith Canfield and seconded by David Padilla.  Keith Canfield, Will Farrell, and David Padilla were in favor.  Karen Adamson, Lynne Ridgeway, and Valerie Smith were opposed.  Motion failed.

           Motion to authorize a budget increase of 1.5% was made by Valerie Smith and seconded by Karen Adamson.  Karen Adamson, Lynne Ridgeway, and Valerie Smith were in favor.  Keith Canfield, Will Farrell, and David Padilla were opposed. Motion failed.

Discussion determined that because there will be a 0% budget increase the Friends’ should now consider the cost savings of doing only one mailing.

Lynne discussed with the Board the options for the testing of asbestos of the possible new building site and the additional change to the cost of the water-testing proposal.

           Motion to select option 2 at a cost of $1450 for the asbestos-testing proposal was made by Will Farrell and seconded by David Padilla.  Lynne Ridgeway was opposed and all others were in favor.  Motion passed.

           Motion to accept the new water-testing proposal of $1725 was made by Keith Canfield and seconded by David Padilla.  All others were in favor.  Motion passed.

           Motion to approve a budget of no more than $500 for the Board retreat was made by Keith Canfield and seconded by Karen Adamson.  All others were in favor.  Motion passed.

Committee Reports:

The Personnel Committee met; Committee Chair, Valerie Smith, will distribute the minutes of that meeting to all Board members and the Board secretary.

The topic of the Budget increase was raised again for discussion.

           Motion to authorize a budget increase of 1.25% was made by Keith Canfield and seconded by Valerie Smith.  Karen Adamson, Keith Canfield, Will Farrell, and Valerie Smith were in favor.  David Padilla and Lynne Ridgeway were opposed.  Motion passed.

The request to the Friends will revert to the original plan of generating two mailings to promote the Library budget vote.

Unfinished Business:

Press release item on the agenda was tabled for the August meeting.

New Business:

None

Adjournment:

Motion to adjourn was made at 10:45PM

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Ebanks

Secretary

Attachments filed with original:                              

Agenda

Bookkeeper’s Summary

 Director’s Report