Effort To Revise Library Bylaws Stalls (VIDEO)

New City Library Board ends meeting after one hour and no agreement on changing bylaws.


During the hour-long special meeting on Monday night, members of the New City Library Board of Trustees did not see eye to eye on any of the proposed revisions to the bylaws.  They only discussed two of the 11 Articles scheduled for review.

At one point trustee Terri Thal who was introducing the revisions proposed by the Policy & Planning Committee got so frustrated with the lack of progress, she said she quit.

“I quit, I can’t handle it anymore,” said Thal.

When Trustee Tom Ninan asked Board President Joe Reiter if he would accept Thal’s resignation, she quickly withdrew it and said she would finish the review of the bylaws. 

The board members discussed the proposed changes to the Article I of the bylaws, disagreeing over whether the library’s description as an association could be accurately changed to corporation. They asked to see the library’s charter for reference.  The charter referred to the library as a corporation.

When the board voted on changing the bylaws wording from association to corporation, the vote tied three to three. Reiter said a two-thirds majority vote was needed to change the bylaws. The board president can vote to break a tie in most circumstances. However, his vote would not have made a difference on Monday because of the two-thirds majority requirement. Seven of the nine trustees attended the meeting. 

The proposed changes to Article II dealt with the definition of the library’s service or catchment area. The current bylaws list the library’s geographic service area as “those portions of New City, Congers, Bardonia, Valley Cottage and Nanuet that are part of the Clarkstown Central School District (CCSD).”

The Policy & Planning Committee suggested defining the library’s service area as “the area assigned to it by the Board of Regents of the State Of New York and may include any non-designated area with the library enters into a written agreement.”

Ninan objected to the change and said specific areas needed to be included in the bylaws. When Thal explained the Board of Regents assigned the service area according to census tracts, Nina said he believed all the census areas were within the Clarkstown School District. The dispute over the wording continued.

Citing lack of progress, a motion was made to adjourn the meeting.  Reiter said revisions to the bylaws would probably be brought up at a future board meeting but it was not included on the agenda for Thursday’s regular board meeting.  

After the session, the two trustees whose terms are up in December disclosed their future plans. Kallen said he decided to seek reelection and Thal said she would not run again. 

“I just can’t turn my back on it,” said Kallen. 

Christine Ma October 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Someone from the state needs to step in and set these guys straight. Changing the bylaws after the fact that they ignored them last meeting is closing the barn door after the cows escaped. Anyone that voted on ignoring the bylaws should be dismissed from office.


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