|Minutes of August 17, 2011, Special Board Meeting|
SUGAR GROVE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
MINUTES OF AUGUST 17, 2011, SPECIAL MEETING
President Joan Roth called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the large meeting room at the library.
Introduction of Trustees and Others Present: Trustees: Art Morrical, Vice President; Joan Roth, President; Julie Wilson; Bill Durrenberger, Secretary; Dan Herkes, Treasurer; and Bob Bergman. Board Attorney: Roger A. Ritzman.
Rogene Kugler – Saddened by end of Library Friends group. Wants to start a new friends group and will take a leadership role. Recites her qualifications and invites interested persons to join her in this endeavor.
Kaelynn Wilson-Bennett – Identifies herself as the volunteer mentioned in a program she attempted to run at the library which never went forward. Reads a statement of her version of the events.
Shari Baum – Concerned about the expense of the current situation resulting from the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes. Criticizes the four trustees who voted to fire Beverly Holmes Hughes and asks them to resign.
Anthony Oliver – Comments on all the bad publicity resulting from the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes. Can’t understand why the four trustees who voted to fire Beverly Holmes Hughes want to remain on the board in light of this. Suggests that Beverly Holmes Hughes be hired as the interim director.
Jerry Murphy – Criticizes the board for its lack of knowledge of the Open Meetings Act as evidenced by the closed session at the August 11, 2011, board meeting. Gives the board a copy of that statute.
Jim Quinlivan – Reads a statement made in response to the statement by Trustee Bill Durrenberger which was published in the Aurora Beacon-News on Sunday, August 14, 2011, and calling on the four trustees who fired Beverly Holmes Hughes to resign.
Cindy Rogers – Concerned about all the negativity surrounding the library’s current situation, and the slim chances for passage of any future referendum, and the library’s future. Hopes this situation can be resolved in a timely manner without undue expense.
Pat Graceffa – Concerned about the approximately $165,000.00 remaining from the proceeds of the sale of the old library building – the library’s so-called “Snow Street Fund.” Wonders if the board plans to use this money to pay the expenses resulting from the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes and asks if any document exists detailing how this money will be spent. Joan Roth responded that these funds will not be used to pay expenses from the firing, but only for emergency expenses for the building. Bob Bergman states that there is no document stating this. Joan Roth listed some repair issues at the new building – leaking tiles, back porch wall. Joan Roth stated that to the extent that the building warranties have expired, the Snow Street Fund will be used to make the repairs. Pat asked where the funds to pay the legal expenses of the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes will come from, and Joan Roth stated that those expenses will be paid out of the library’s regular budget. Pat asked for an estimate of the amount. Board attorney Roger Ritzman estimated his firm’s invoice for the second quarter of 2011 (ending June 30, 2011) to be in the $2,000.00 to $4,000.00 range. Others in the public asked about the other expenses of the firing such as search firm fees. Joan Roth stated that the search firm will make a presentation at the board’s August 25, 2011, meeting and that the fees would not be above $10,000.00. Upon request of a member of the public, Joan Roth stated that she could only locate one search firm available to assist the library at this time. Some members of the public questioned whether bids should be put out for repairs and the search firm. Kevin Geary asked about a speaker system to make it easier for all the trustees to be heard, and Art Morrical explained that there is only one microphone for the system.
David Verdeyen – Says he feels Arlene Kaspik was unduly treated by some of the public at the August 11, 2011, board meeting and that the community owes her an apology. States that that meeting was unruly – not the board but the public – and chastises the public for its rude behavior toward the board and its disruption of board meetings. Calls on the board to provide more information concerning the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes.
Ronald Leisher – Asks David Verdeyen if Joann Verdeyen is his wife. David confirms that she is. David says that Joann no longer wishes to fill the open trustee position.
Ellen Bonewitz – Likes the library. Compliments the staff. Expresses concern and sadness over the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes. Wants to know the reason why the board fired her.
Board attorney Roger Ritzman explained that the board has to be very careful not to violate the privacy rights of the fired employee through any statement it might issue. He stated that he has advised the board to issue a statement concerning the firing but the board has to be very careful in what that statement will say.
Ronald Leisher (again) – Criticizes the board for not having a library representative at last night’s Sugar Grove Village meeting concerning the proposed Sugar Grove Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. Suggests board resignations.
Julie Wilson stated that she could not attend due to a conflict. Joan Roth said that she would attend the next TIF meeting which will be held on September 6, 2011.
Erin Erickson – Concerned over the expenses being incurred due to the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes, particularly in light of the board’s recent lowering of staff salaries and other refusals to spend money on routine library expenses. Criticizes the board’s recent actions – open meetings act violations, refusal to provide the public with certain information. Comments on the continuing negative publicity. Urges the public to stay involved in this situation.
Douglas Hartman – Criticizes the board, including its refusal to explain the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes, its open meetings act violations, its failure to be at last night’s TIF meeting or last Saturday’s reading program or other library programs, and its squandering of funds due to the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes. Calls for the resignations of the four trustees who voted to fire Beverly Holmes Hughes.
Veronica Price – Criticizes the board’s treatment of the public on certain occasions.
Kevin Geary – Criticizes the four trustees who voted to fire Beverly Holmes Hughes for a lack of involvement in the community. Julie Wilson described several matters with which she is involved, as did Art Morrical. Joan Roth stated that she is not a joiner; she is involved with a couple of library reading groups such as the library’s Mystery Readers group, however.
Bill Durrenberger offered an explanation for the criticisms of the board expressed by several members of the public at tonight’s meeting with respect to the board’s recent failures to be in attendance at various meetings and library activities and other perceived board errors. He stated that this results from the firing of Beverly Holmes Hughes who would guide the board with respect to these issues. In her absence, particularly in light of the summary manner in which she was fired, without any preparation for her absence, the board is missing her guiding hand.
President Joan Roth closes public comment.
Interim Director Replacement:
Motion: To authorize Joan Roth to hire a new interim director. Motion by Julie Wilson, 2nd by Bob Bergman. Role Call Vote: Bergman – Yes, Herkes – Yes, Wilson - Yes, Roth – Yes, Morrical – Yes, Durrenberger – Yes. Motion carried.
Amend By-Laws Concerning Minimal Trustee Attendance Requirements:
The board agreed that it will be necessary to further amend the By-Laws in light of the decision to go to one board meeting a month. In particular, Article II, Section 2, will need to be amended to replace “eight (8)” with “four (4).” This will be placed on the agenda for the August 25, 2011, regular board meeting.
Motion: To adjourn. Motion by Bill Durrenberger, 2nd by Bob Bergman. Voice Vote: All - Yes. Motion carried.
These minutes are submitted by Bill Durrenberger, board Secretary.