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Meeting Minutes - July 15, 2010

The Chairperson, Colleen Van Auken, called the meeting to order at 7:42PM
Present: J. Fausone, M. Siegrist, D. Turner, C. Van Auken
(NOTE: Quorum was achieved when M. Siegrist arrived at 7:47 p.m.)
Absent: K. Schulz, G. Snow
Also Present: E. Davis, K. Gladden

Call to Audience

No comments (G. Bell, R. Havenstein-Coughlin, A. Heidemann, L. Papa, S. Rzetelny, E. Skrzynski, M. Skrzynski, N. Szczepanski)

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved as presented, after a quorum was present.

Approval of Minutes

Minutes of the June 17 meeting were approved as presented, after a quorum was present.

Communications

E. Davis indicated that she had received email communication from C. Young that Trustee G. Snow would not attend.

It was confirmed that the Board members had received email from Vice Chair M. Siegrist stating that he would be late in arriving.

Report of the Library Director

E. Davis stated that circulation and traffic figures were down slightly and that while the library was busy, she believes that road construction and the related closure of some sidewalks were responsible. Summer Reading registration was down by approximately 400 people, although just over 300 participants had registered via the new online process; around 3800 registered in person.

Staff members from three departments recently resigned: Dorothy Ham (Circulation Services), Sarah Perry (CTTS) and Debra Finkle (Business Services). Their positions will be filled and notices have been posted.

Old Business

None.

New Business

Discussion of Preliminary 2011 Draft Budget – E. Davis thanked the department heads for their hard work, which resulted in a proposed budget, balanced with neither a contribution from the fund balance nor staff layoffs or furlough days, as was agreed to at the June 17 meeting.

Davis went over the proposal line by line, explaining the information or rationale by which the projected revenues/expenditures in each area were derived.

She stressed that the projected property tax revenue (forecast on the reset millage rate of 1.5437 mills, as requested by the Board at the June 17 meeting) was based on the latest figures from the Township, obtained that week by Gail Bell. Trustee Fausone and Secretary/Treasurer Turner requested property tax revenue figures for 2012 and 2013 be revised and based on the original figures provided by the Township, and Chair Van Auken additionally requested that the assumed property tax collection rate be lowered to 92%.

Trustee Fausone pointed out that, as approximately $375 in expenditures related to the café, the Board might want to re-visit the issue of not charging Jungle Java Express rent when their contract expires again in spring of 2011, and to consider charging for the library’s overhead costs.

Trustee Fausone questioned the contingency fees in specific lines. Davis provided an overview of the need for contingency in specific areas of the Information Technology budget based on special needs that have arisen in past years. This year, for example, we are considering replacing an aging wireless system, with contingency funds, in order to defer the expense in future years. Contingency funds are returned to the general fund if special needs do not occur.

Papa provided examples of why contingencies are needed for 850 Telecommunications and 942B Rental (Copiers/Printing) in the 2011 budget: Changes in service for these funds that have resulted in costs savings over the past year, have also resulted in recent changes to billing, which has made it difficult to project exact costs in future years. Davis added that the 2009 budget had also had contingency fees built in; the money was not needed in the end and was, in fact, added to the fund balance at the end of the year.

Trustee Fausone stated that he would like the Board to discuss the philosophical issues of an updated salary survey. He acknowledged that the $1500 expenditure falls within the $10,000 limit for the Director to expend funds without a Board vote, but indicated he would ask the Board to vote in August or September on removing that expenditure from the 2011 budget. Rzetelny explained that biennial updates of the salary schedule that was adopted in 2009 will cost the library less in the long run vs. updating the entire survey in a future year.

While there was again no money for out-of-state travel in the budget, and that for in-state conferences reduced, Davis explained that professional memberships in various organizations had led to several grants won in 2010, and so those memberships will be retained.

Secretary/Treasurer Turner questioned the need for community promotion expenditures. Davis explained that the money was used for items (like water bottles) passed out at events like Business Expo, to raise awareness of the library and reach groups identified in the Strategic Plan with whom we have had trouble making inroads (like business people), and for events like Patron Celebration Day.

Trustee Fausone questioned the projected property tax refund amounts for 2012 and 2013, suggesting that, since the Michigan Tax Tribunal is so backed up, estimates based on current numbers might be too low. Davis said that only $13,793 of the $60,000 budgeted for refunds in 2010 had had to be paid out so far, and that the amount budgeted for future years is based on the library’s anticipated exposure. Trustee Fausone asked for that line item to be increased.

Call to Audience

None

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 8:59PM

Comments

polly anne 2030
Sun, 2010-08-22 12:55
After reading the minutes from your July meeting, I noticed in the letter that 3 people had resigned from different departments. If the library is trying to save money, and Eva stressed this in her budget plan, then why does the library continue to replace people? Where are you saving money by hiring back 3 people?? It sounds like you're saying one thing(by "not hiring any more people"), but then you turn around and do the opposite. It might make sense to the employees of the library, but not to the patrons.
eva
Tue, 2010-08-24 11:00
Hello, polly anne 2030! There are key positions in every organization that must be filled in order to operate. There are also positions where multiple people perform the work and the library can increase the workload of the remaining staff when someone leaves. We have used this analysis for every open position since 2008, and it is the main reason we've been able to reduce our headcount by almost 40%. After additional discussion by my management team after this meeting, two of these three positions will not be filled, instead, we will be reducing our public service even further.