The annual meeting of the New City Library and regular monthly meeting of its Board of Trustees were supposed to be held Thursday night but the sessions were postponed just 24 hours prior because five members were unable to attend. Still Trustees Jeffrey Greenberg and Ed Kallen and Trustees-Elect Victor Berger and George Jacobson and about 15 community members including former library employees filtered in. Greenberg said they were hoping a quorum of trustees of the nine-member board would show up despite the cancellation.
At 7:30 p.m., Greenberg read the roll call. Since no meeting could be held, he explained what should have transpired at the annual meeting. Greenberg said the transition of board officers takes place at that meeting. Until then he is the treasurer and Kallen is the secretary. Issues that were supposed to be discussed included replacement of one of the library’s boilers and approving funds to bring an executive director candidate from Texas in for an interview.
Instead of postponing the meetings, Kallen said they should have been held with a roll call in accordance with the bylaws. Then the meetings should have been adjourned if there was not a quorum.
People took the opportunity to speak.
Former Library Board Trustee Harry Bloomfeld said, “I think this is totally improper.”
He said the bylaws allow only one reason to delay the annual meeting and that is due to the weather. In that case, he said, the meeting has to be rescheduled within a week. Bloomfeld said if board members are trying to bypass the annual meeting and the first meeting of the year and instead conduct library business by email that is also improper.
The library’s former business manager Ellen Ellis asked who was in charge of the oversight of the library’s $5 million budget since there is no business manager, no bookkeeper and no executive director. She resigned in the summer, library executive director Chuck McMorran left in May, interim director Marianne Silver stepped down in December and the bookkeeper position has been unfilled for more than a year.
Sally Pellegrini, who recently resigned her position as adult reference librarian and head of the Local History and Community Relations Department, asked if the board members had been in contact with the state education department. Greenberg said he and Bloomfield had contacted the department because of the lack of an executive director and some of the actions of the other members of the board.
“They’re not operating as I see it in the proper manner,” said Greenberg.
Although the library is mandated to have a director, Greenberg was told the department could not do anything until August when a registration has to be submitted.