SUGAR GROVE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
MINUTES OF OCTOBER 13, 2011, SPECIAL MEETING
President Joan Roth called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the large basement room at the Sugar Grove Community House.
Introduction of Trustees and Others Present: Trustees: Art Morrical, Vice President; Joan Roth, President; Julie Wilson; Bill Durrenberger, Secretary; Dan Herkes, Treasurer; and Anthony Oliver. Interim Library Director: Marilyn Boria.
Trustee Robert Bergman arrived several minutes thereafter.
Pat Graceffa – Thanked the board for tonight’s meeting and expressed her hope that the board would approach mediation with an open mind.
Doug Hartman – Spoke for Mary Powers who wondered why a prior letter of hers which she had given to the library staff did not get read at the August 23, 2011, board meeting or placed with that board meeting’s minutes. He read a statement from Mary Powers supporting former director Beverly Holmes Hughes and criticizing the board for firing her. He gave the board secretary a copy of Mary Powers’ recent letter to the Aurora Beacon-News – see attached – for inclusion with the minutes for tonight’s board meeting. He then spoke on his own behalf and stated his concern over the financial and other problems of the library, his wish for the board to clearly state its new direction, and his hope that the board will enter into mediation with the former director as a way to resolve all the troubling issues currently surrounding the library.
Mari Johnson – Read a statement - see attached. Stated her concern over the library’s financial difficulties and her encouragement over possible mediation with the former director. Encouraged the board to work through the various issues, including involvement of the public in the process.
Shari Baum – Read a statement – see attached. Praised interim director Marilyn Boria. Criticized those who act anonymously. Expressed her deep concern over the library’s current financial situation and stated some possible changes in operating procedures that might help. Posed some questions about the board’s intentions. Asked for the resignations of trustees Roth, Morrical, and Bergman.
Jenny Shaw Parolek – Expressed concern over the library’s current situation. Praised former director Beverly Holmes Hughes and the library’s current staff. Concerned over the possible closing of the library. Encouraged the board to re-hire Beverly Holmes Hughes and focus its time and money on improving the library.
Meadow Sabelko – Stated that her family uses the library often. Concerned over the possible closing of the library.
Dan Nagel – Stated his belief that the library’s funds from the sale of its former Snow Street building cannot be used for library operations – only for capital improvements, per Illinois Department of Revenue rules.
Erin Erickson – Stated her confusion over why the board does not listen to the public who consistently attend board meetings and why the board continues to spend money as a result of the firing of the former director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Expressed her belief that the board can assist in the passage of a referendum, which is the long-term solution to the library’s current financial difficulties, by listening to the public, reversing course, and re-hiring Beverly Holmes Hughes.
Mari Johnson (again) – Stated that from her experience as trustee on the Village of Sugar Grove’s board with regard to the recent TIF issue, it is possible for a board to reverse course, as the Village board did with the TIF matter. The Village listened to the community and responded to the community’s wishes. Stated that the library board should do the same and put the community’s wishes ahead of their own personal opinions.
Ron Leisher – Stated that he was encouraged by the last board meeting’s indication that the board might be willing to mediate with former director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Stated that a referendum is the solution to the library’s current difficulties, but pointed out that the money from a referendum will not be received for at least two years. Expressed his opinion that a library is important in the community for the success of the community’s young people as they prepare for adult life.
David Verdeyen – Criticized the behavior of the public at past meetings but also stated that the public was behaving better at tonight’s meeting. Stated his concern over personal attacks against members of the board at past meetings and his opinion that such personal attacks can lead to violence. Stated that perhaps the board should have someone at its meetings to remove members of the public who misbehave. Encouraged the public to behave better.
Doug Hartman- Stated that he felt that some of David Verdeyen’s comments were directed at him, but disagreed that any of his comments have been inappropriate. Specifically denied any risk of violence from his comments.
Trustee Bill Durrenberger stated his opinion that although it may be true that some public comments may have been somewhat inappropriate, if David Verdeyen understood how justifiably upset the community is over the firing of former director Beverly Holmes Hughes, he would not be criticizing folks but praising them for their restraint.
David Verdeyen – Stated that he had not said that anybody threatened violence – just that comments can eventually lead to violence.
President Joan Roth closed public comment.
Approve Payment of Certain Expenses:
Motion: To approve the payment of certain expenses. Motion by Dan Herkes, 2nd by Bill Durrenberger. Trustee Bill Durrenberger stated that interim director Marilyn Boria had voluntarily lowered her pay from $72.00 per hour to $50.00 per hour. Trustee Anthony Oliver stated that he was looking into some savings on building and grounds expenses and would report to the board at a future meeting. Role Call Vote: Bergman – Yes, Herkes – Yes, Wilson - Yes, Roth – Yes, Morrical – Yes, Durrenberger – Yes, Oliver - Yes. Motion carried.
Motion: To go into closed session in accordance with Section 2(c)(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity. Motion by Bill Durrenberger, 2nd by Dan Herkes. Roll Call Vote: Bergman – Yes, Herkes – Yes, Roth – Yes, Wilson – Yes, Morrical – No, Durrenberger – Yes, Oliver - Yes. Motion carried, six to one.
[The seven trustees and interim director Marilyn Boria then left the large basement room to go to the southeast room on the main floor of the Community House. The board went into closed session.]
[The seven trustees and interim director Marilyn Boria then returned to the large basement room.]
Motion: To go back into open session. Motion by Bill Durrenberger, 2nd by Dan Herkes. Roll Call Vote: Bergman – Yes, Herkes – Yes, Roth – Yes, Wilson – Yes, Morrical – Yes, Durrenberger – Yes, Oliver - Yes. Motion carried.
Hiring of New Director/Rehiring of Former Director:
Motion: To enter into mediation with former director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Motion by Bill Durrenberger, 2nd by Dan Herkes. There was some discussion by several of the trustees. Roll Call Vote: Bergman – No, Herkes – Yes, Roth – No, Wilson – Yes, Morrical – No, Durrenberger – Yes. Oliver – Yes. Motion carried, four to three.
Motion: To adjourn. Motion by Dan Herkes, 2nd by Robert Bergman. Voice Vote: All - Yes. Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned. These minutes are submitted by Bill Durrenberger, board secretary.