An opinion from the New City Library’s attorney that the trustees have the authority to hire and fire employees led to a difference of opinion among the trustees at Thursday’s meeting. In a September letter, Attorney Scott Albrecht cited several opinions and laws supporting the board’s ability to hire employees specifically the business manger.
In a follow-up October letter, Albrecht wrote, “It is the opinion of this firm that the Board has the power to hire.” He also noted since the library’s employees are not Civil Service members, the term “appoint” used in some of the material does not affect the board’s powers
Board President Joseph Reiter said in most cases the authority is delegated to the library’s executive director but the trustees should have the final say.
Trustees Terri Thal and Ed Kallen said the attorney’s conclusion was incorrect. Kallen said some of the sources the attorney based his opinion on referred to a town library. Thal noted the New City Library is an association library chartered by the New York Board of Regents.
Trustee Jeffrey Greenberg offered a motion that the interim library director consults with the Personnel & Finance Committee and the board prior to any hiring or firing of personnel. Kallen said the motion might not be in the library’s best interest. The motion was tabled until the November meeting.
During the discussion, Trustee Tom Ninan repeatedly asked for the Personnel & Finance Committee to get together after the regular meeting ended. Greenberg said he did not want to meet until he had a chance to review the letters and the 30 pages of materials that Albrecht relied on. Greenberg said the committee would try to schedule a meeting before the board’s next session so it could submit a recommendation.
Additionally, Interim Executive Director Marianne Silver announced that longtime Head of Community Relations Adult Services and Local History Librarian Sally Pellegrini was retiring. Pellegrini, who is retiring this week, worked for the library for more than 16 years.
Silver said Pellegrini discovered and developed creative, intelligent and stimulating programs. The Chapters Book Club founded by Pellegrini celebrates its 10 anniversary next year. Silver said Pellegrini’s highly regarded local history collection draws genealogy researchers from across the country.
“She will be sorely missed,” said Silver.