The New City Library Board of Trustees called a special meeting for tonight at 7:30 p.m. to discuss proposed changes to the library’s bylaws. The bylaws were last revised in 2009. The bylaws establish guidelines for the library board’s responsibilities and functions.
Board Policy & Planning Committee chair Terri Thal drafted the changes with input from Trustee Jeffrey Greenberg. The changes were reviewed and approved by the committee and forwarded to the board about a month ago The sections of the bylaws targeted for proposed updates include many of the issues that have been the cause of disputes among board members such as filling vacancies, service area, and cardholder requirements.
The service area description of the library current service area includes the parts of New City, Congers, Bardonia, Valley Cottage and Nanuet that are within the Clarkstown Central School District. The proposal would change that description to the area assigned by the New York State Board of Regents and other non-designated areas with which the library signs a written agreement.
Under the current bylaws, anyone who is 18 years old, has lived in the service area for 30 days and can provide proof of residency is permitted to get a library card. The revisions would maintain the proof of residency and require applicants to meet the registration requirements listed in the library’s circulation handbook.
Another recommendation would allow the highest vote getter, who was not elected to the board to be appointed if a vacancy occurs between December and August. However if a vacancy occurs between August and November, it would be filled at the December election when library members typically vote for trustees and on the budget.
An additional change would seat newly elected trustees at the first board meeting of the following year. Currently, new-elected trustees join the board at the annual meeting on the third Thursday in December. That would allow them to participate in election of officers.
Thal highlighted another revision that would change the way the length of the terms of a trustee who replaces one who leaves during the year is determined.
"If a trustee leaves during the first year of her or his term, that term shall count as part of the two consecutive three-year terms allowed to the trustee’s replacement. If a trustee leaves during the second or third year of his or her term, that term shall not count as part of the two consecutive three-year terms allowed to the trustee’s replacement."
The 10-page proposed document renames some of the Articles, switches some of the existing bylaw content to different or new categories, and increases the number of Sections and expands several of them. A previous effort in August 2010 to introduce revisions to the bylaws was voted down by the board.