The New City Library Board of Trustees lifted its hiring freeze on Thursday night but a departing member of the library’s administrative staff feels it was too late.
After 26 years with the library, Business & Facilities Manager announced her resignation effective July 31. Her departure leaves the library without a business manager or bookkeeper because of the hiring freeze. Ellis said she taught the library’s administrative assistant how to manage the payroll so the staff could receive their checks.
After the meeting, Ellis released a statement about her decision and her concerns.
“The main reason I am taking early retirement is to move closer to my family. However, there is another factor in my decision. I feel the library is moving in a direction that is detrimental to the organization. There is a faction on the Board of Trustees that has aligned them too closely with the union leadership and has pushed aside management’s concerns.
The function of the board is to set library policy and not concern them with the day to day operation of the library. That is the Library Director’s responsibility. This faction of the board arbitrarily dismissed our last director without any concrete reason. When asked why by the minority members of the board and the public, they refused to respond. This faction follows the whims of one member and votes as a block. I am sincerely concerned with the future of the New City Library and encourage the public to take a greater interest in its affairs. That said, I have truly enjoyed many wonderful and productive years here and will miss my colleagues.”
Ellis said the bookkeeper had left last August because of illness. The position was changed to 25 hours and she had posted it and received resumes when the hiring freeze was imposed in April. If that had not been in place, Ellis said she would have been able to hire and train a new bookkeeper before she left.
Board President Joseph Reiter said the accounting firm that works with the library had been contacted to see if they could provide someone on short notice.
Ellis is the second administrator to resign from the library in recent months. The previous director left in early May after a majority of the board voted against negotiations to renew his contract. Marianne Silver was been appointed as interim director of the library, a position she has held for just over two months.
The board went into executive session after completing the public portion of its meeting to discuss candidates for the library director, business manager and bookkeeper positions. The board vote was three in favor, one opposed and one abstention.