The New City Library Board of Trustees updated the voting procedures for the trustee election and budget vote that is a little more than two weeks away. The trustees reviewed draft revisions prepared by Tom Ninan and the version of last year’s procedures updated by Interim Library Director Marianne Silver. The trustee election and budget vote will be held on Wednesday, Dec.12 from 9a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ninan suggested changing the electioneering distance candidates had to put between themselves and the library from 100 to 50 feet. Trustees decided that they should follow the recommendation of the Board of Elections and keep it at 100 feet. The agreed an individual will be limited to picking up three absentee ballots.
Another change was the board president and interim director will prepare the schedule for staff and trustees to work on Election Day. The two library trustees, who are running, Ed Kallen and Christian Cortelli, are not permitted to assist.
Trustees debated the fairness of the paper ballot, which lists the names of the six candidates and identifies which ones are board nominated and which are petition candidates.
Kallen said he thought it was unjust to distinguish between the candidates.
“I think it’s unfair to petition candidates,” he said.
Ninan was opposed to removing the designation and said they were continuing a past practice that had been accepted.
Board President Joe Reiter said board members interviewing candidates and then recommending some of them is not appropriate.
“The procedure itself is inherently unfair,” said Reiter.
The three board nominated candidates are: Cecily Cohen and current trustees Cortelli and Kallen. The three petition candidates are Victor Berger, George Jacobson and Terence Mulgrew. Silver said the bios of each candidate will be posted on the library’s website either this week or next week. Terri Thal currently holds the third seat up for election but she decided not to run again at the end of her term.
Ninan, who chairs the New Director Search Committee, told the board that four potential finalists had been selected from among the 20 applicants. He said the committee had met twice and was in the process of contacting the four prospects to make sure they were still interested and ask them to send letters of reference. Once the committee hears back from the four individuals, the other candidates will be notified they are not finalists. Ninan said the committee would meet within the next week or two.