The New City Library Board of Trustees spent almost an hour disputing over whether they should adjourn their meeting and reconvene at a special meeting on Thursday, May 31. Trustee Tom Ninan originally put forward a motion to adjourn Thursday night's meeting because the to Investigate the Board President did not have a completed report. The committee, which is investigating charges that Ninan lodged against President Terri Thal, is expected to have results to share with the board in time for the special meeting.
“Once again we’re spiraling out of control,” said Trustee Ed Kallen.
Several board members said the entire meeting could not be cancelled because there were agenda items that needed to be addressed. Kallen asked Ninan to allow the board to conduct library business. He read from the board’s bylaws, which state special meetings, must be requested in writing or by petition and can only deal with one item. Ninan met the petition requirement for calling a special meeting.
“I do have the four signatures I need,” said Ninan who signed the petition along with Vice President Joe Reiter, Olahannan Poulose and Anthony Feliciano.
The was formed at the March meeting to investigate Ninan’s list of complaints against Thal. The three-person committee is made up of Trustees Kallen, Feliciano and Matthew Mulrooney. In addition to the forming the committee, a majority of the board previously passed a motion that set May 3 as the deadline for Thal to respond to Ninan’s charges.
“It is my understanding you did not answer my charges,” Ninan said to Thal, who was not required to respond to them.
"I don't want to talk about Tom's charges against me," said Thal. "This isn't the time or the place."
Ninan asked about the progress of the committee’s investigation. He said he had not been asked questions or to make a presentation.
“We’re looking at the charges you put on paper,” said Kallen. “Our charge is not to decide but to report.”
He expects the committee to meet again in a few days. Kallen, who chairs the Ad Hoc Committee, said the members spent several hours discussing the charges but has not called any witnesses. He said the committee’s gatherings are not open to the public because they deal with a personnel issue.
Ninan asked about adding another trustee to the committee.
“I think our bylaws allow up to four people on a committee,” he said.
He was told that to add another person would require the committee to backtrack and redo all the work it has done. Thal said she ruled ta committee that must come to a conclusion and present to board members cannot have an even number (of members).
“The committee exists until it completes its work,” said Thal.
Thal said there would be a special meeting on May 31 as long as there is a quorum of members. The special meeting is open to the public.