The New City Library Board of Trustees held a special meeting Monday night to vote on which candidates the board will recommend for three open seats on the board.
The board voted to recommend a slate of current board members Ed Kallen and Christian Cortelli, as well as Cecily Cohen. The board’s election is Dec. 12, the same day the public votes on the library budget for the following year. Six candidates put their names in the running for the three spots.
The three candidates were suggested to the full board from the Nominating Committee. The only board member to vote against the slate was Trustee Jeffrey Greenberg, who was also on the Nominating Committee.
There was some confusion and disagreement on the board when Greenberg said he was voting against the slate. Board President Joseph Reiter asked to have it recorded in the minutes that Greenberg is voting against the position he took in committee.
Greenberg, however, said the committee just voted on individuals.
“We didn’t vote on slate in the committee,” he said. “We simply cast our ballots. Chris got two votes our of three votes, Ed got two of the three votes and Cecily got two of the three votes. That was it. We didn’t do a slate and based on the fact that three of them got two votes, they became the candidates.”
After the meeting, Greenberg said he voted against the slate because he disagrees with the appointment of Cortelli to the board. Back in September, Cortelli was appointed to the board after former Trustee Aney Paul resigned. The appointment sparked controversy after some thought it went against library bylaws as Cortelli didn’t have a New City Library card at the time of the appointment. His wife and child both had New City Library cards.
“Our bylaws require a library card here at least 180 days before joining the board,” Greenberg said after the meeting.
“I remain adamant he’s not eligible under bylaws. His wife and child have cards, not him.”
After the meeting, Reiter stood by his statement that Greenberg was voting against his prior statements.
“That slate was recommended by Jeff,” he said.
During the meeting, Ninan said after the committee votes are tallied, the chair of the committee can make the three candidates a slate.
“It is up to the chair and the chair recommended a slate and we all agreed on it,” he said. “None of us voted against the slate, so it is assumed and presumed that we all agreed as a unified body of three that we voted yes for the slate.”
After the discussion on the board candidates, the trustees also discussed an emergency building and grounds issue. The issue is a boiler that needs a replacement part. Interim Library Director Marianne Silver said if they can’t find a replacement part, they’ll need to replace the boiler, which is more than 20 years old.
The boiler that has the issue is the library’s second boiler. Silver said the second boiler is more of a “boost” than a backup.
“We have two boilers, one is operating,” Silver said. “We only have to go to the second one when it starts getting very cold.”
The trustees agreed that bids should be solicited from at least two or three companies if a replacement part can’t be obtained.