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Meeting Minutes - August 19, 2010

The Chairperson, Colleen Van Auken, called the meeting to order at 7:30PM
Present: J. Fausone, K. Schulz, M. Siegrist, D. Turner, C. Van Auken
Absent: G. Snow
Also Present: E. Davis, K. Gladden, L. Golden

Call To Audience

No comments (G. Bell, K. Brandow, R. Havenstein-Coughlin, L. Papa, E. Pare, M. Pare, S. Rzetelny, M. Simowski, N. Szczepanski, T. Towey)

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved as presented.

Approval of Minutes

Minutes of the July 15 meeting were approved as presented.

Communications

E. Davis reported that she had received communication from Trustee G. Snow that he would not be attending.

She then read the following letter from K. Brandow:

Dear CPL Board of Trustees,

I work at the Canton Public Library as an Adult Reference Librarian, and, although I do not live in Canton, I do have a vested interest in the future of the library.

First, I want to commend you on what looks like will be a vote to reset the millage to 1.5437. I think the recent elections around the state have shown us that Michigan taxpayers value their libraries and support such initiatives (please see attached). In fact, 100 percent of 16 millage renewals and Headlee rollbacks passed (please see attached).

Even with the return of the millage to the Headlee-eroded 1.5437, CPL will still face enormous budget constraints that may result in furlough days, program cuts and layoffs. In light of the recent election results and the popularity of CPL among Canton residents, I think it would be a good idea for the Board to examine the possibility of bringing a full or partial Headlee override vote to the public. I know that there was at least one post on the CPL blog suggesting the restoration of the millage to the original voter-approved level of 2.0 mills, so the idea has some support among library users.

It may be too late for this year, but perhaps the Board should begin to consider whether the issue should be brought to the public in next year’s election. Bringing the issue to a vote would be the most direct way to allow Canton residents to determine what they want for the future of the CPL.

While a Headlee override would go a long way in solving the long-term budget problems, I think that it would be prudent to re-examine using the "fund balance monies" discussed at the June 17, 2010 CPL Board meeting to help alleviate the short-term budget crisis.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Kim Brandow
Adult Services Reference Librarian
Canton Public Library

Board members were supplied with copies of the letter and attachments.

Report of the Library Director

The Library Network (TLN) notified Davis that the library’s share of the cost of inter-library deliveries will be increased from the current $1500 to $3000 in 2011, due to cuts in state revenue sharing to the library cooperative; this amount could go even higher, depending on what additional cuts might be made when the state finalizes its 2011 budget. (The total cost of inter-library deliveries to/from CPL via TLN for one year is $10,000.)

TLN is moving from its building downriver and will be relocating to a leased facility in a more central location. They are moving forward with negotiations on a facility in Novi.

The publicity packet included a story in Hockey Weekly re: Plymouth Whalers star R.J. Mahalak reading to children at the Canton Public Library.

The Canton Chamber of Commerce publication, Networker, included remarks from Twp. Supervisor Phil LaJoy re: the Check Out Canton pass program, which is set to go in September. It will work like the Museum Adventure Pass. The Canton Economic Development group is soliciting businesses to participate in the program.

Canton Township would like to partner with the library to utilize our conduit to set up a fiber connection for their internet service. Leo Papa is working with the township’s IT department in this endeavor.

The Observer & Eccentric newspapers featured stories on both the Wayne County Library for the Blind and Trustee J. Fausone’s appointment as City Attorney for Westland.

2010 marks 30 years since the library first opened, and 30 years that it has been a member of the Canton Chamber of Commerce. A low-key month-long celebration will be held in October publicizing our anniversary. The Chamber has invited library trustees to attend the October 6 luncheon, where Davis will be presented with a plaque commemorating the library’s 30-year membership.

Davis shared copies of a report from credit collection agency Unique Management Services, which detailed a 65% recovery rate of cash and material since 2004, or an 8-to-1 return on investment.

Old Business

Discussion of 2011 Draft Budget & 3-year budget projection – An informational video produced by Laurie Golden and Brad Czerniak for use on the CPL website, Facebook page and YouTube was introduced and screened by Golden. Suggestions for improvement were made by Trustees Fausone and Schulz.

Trustee Fausone restated his opposition to re-setting the millage rate and his desire to see structural changes – such as furlough days, reduced library hours, and staff reductions – made in 2011 to generate savings that can be added to the fund balance for future use. Others indicated a desire to communicate with the public throughout 2011 re: further future service cutbacks and to see continued innovative budget-cutting measures for 2012, but the Board as a whole had no further changes to the balanced 2011 budget as presented by Davis.

Fausone reiterated that even with the millage re-set to 1.5437 mills, the average taxpayer would still pay less in 2011 than in 2010, due to the steep drop in property values, and requested that this be a prominent factor in library communications after the 2011 budget hearing in September.

New Business

None.

Call to Audience

Michael Simowski quoted from the report submitted by K. Brandow, in support of the notion of putting a Headlee rollback proposal before the voters. Trustee Fausone remarked that it was his understanding that the Board was not the proper entity to spearhead a movement to get such a vote on the ballot, nor could it authorize the expenditure of any tax dollars toward such a project.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 8:28PM