TO: MAYOR WYTHE AND CITY COUNCIL
FROM: LIBRARY ADVISORY BOARD
THRU: RENEE KRAUSE, CMC, DEPUTY CITY CLERK I
DATE: MAY 14, 2014
SUBJECT: AMENDING THE LIBRARY ADVISORY BYLAWS, SECTION FOUR, MEETINGS, REDUCING THE NUMBER OF REGULAR MEETINGS ANNUALLY AND SECTION FIVE, COMMITTEES, CREATION BY COUNCIL THROUGH RESOLUTION ONLY
The Board introduced, discussed and approved the reduction of meetings and creation of committees at the regular meeting on February 4, 2014 and May 6, 2014..
Following is the excerpts from those meetings:
Excerpt from the minutes for the February 4, 2014 regular meeting:
B. Memorandum from City Clerk Re: Reducing Meetings of the Board, Commissions and Committees at the Request of City Council
Vice Chair Strobel read the recommendation into the record and asked for any comments or discussion. Ms. Krause explained that she provided the meetings that were conducted and indicated the special meetings held. Mr. Gordon requested the amount of time and costs involved when meetings are missed. Ms. Krause stated that she spent up to approximately 4 hours per month plus the cost of advertising. She additionally noted that Ms. Dixon who is the staff spend much more time on preparing the information and reports for the Board. Her recommendation is to consider meeting every other month due to the necessity to approve a needed policy or to cover the budget process, etc.
Mr. Gordon could understand the repugnance of waste as he himself loathes waste but feels this would reduce the importance of the tasks performed by this board and additionally, conceptually the more citizen involvement our town has in its administration the better job the council can do, the better job the patrons will have done for them the better democracy we will have in the town. Mr. Gordon questioned if they had another board member would the absenteeism still drive the decision. Ms. Krause agreed that having another member would mitigate the problem of obtaining a quorum; however Council has decided to reduce meetings where they can. Mr. Gordon asked if there were tasks currently addressing or will be addressed that can be handled by citizen input without having meetings. He clarified that he was biased in his belief the significant improvements in service to the community by the Library were accomplished over the last couple of years through in part by board activity; he would see that as a discouraging thing for the community and the Library serving the community if they proceeded not helping with problems as they come up to be addressed. Mr. Gordon continued to comment on recognizing the difficulty if even two of them met, like at the post office, and started chatting about Library difficulties and if they have half as many meetings would make it worse as it seems like the point of the Board is to help the library help the community. Mr. Gordon also pointed out as an example the problem at this meeting addressing the paper provided by Mr. Haines, that since it was not on the agenda they cannot address it and it gets postponed until the next month. It is not very productive.
Vice Chair Strobel stated that while essentially in agreement with Mr. Gordon they must take and make a recommendation on their behalf or Council will reduce them to 4 meetings a year.
Ms. Dixon expressed her concern by bringing up the time it took approving the last policy the Board worked on was over a year and if they only met even six times how long would it take, she expressed great concern and recommended reducing down to 8 meetings a year if that would be acceptable. Ms. Krause explained that Council requested a recommendation from the Board and did not put any limitations in that recommendation.
STROBEL/POLSTER – MOVED TO RECOMMEND REDUCING THE MEETINGS TO EIGHT PER YEAR.
There was a brief discussion on this reduction might make being a board member more acceptable since most of the reasons for not joining were time constraints.
VOTE. YES. NON-OBJECTION. UNANIMOUS CONSENT.
Ms. Krause requested the months that the Board will meet or not meet as this information will be contained in a new resolution making those changes to the meeting schedule. Vice Chair Strobel inquired if there was one month more than another that they should not meet.
Mr. Gordon reference the chart provided by Ms. Krause. Ms. Krause noted that November is the most canceled month for some reason. After further discussion the Board agreed on meeting in February, March, May, June, July, September, October, December.
STROBEL/POLSTER – MOVED TO INCLUDE IN THE RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL THAT THE LIBRARY ADVISORY BOARD WILL MEET DURING THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY, MARCH, MAY, JUNE, JULY, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER.
There was no further discussion.
VOTE. YES. NON-OBJECTION. Unanimous consent.
Excerpt from the minutes for the May 6, 2014 regular meeting:
B. Amend Bylaws to Address Changes to Meeting Schedule and Establishing Committees
Chair Gordon read the title into the record and opened discussion.
Ms. Porter inquired if everyone still agreed with the months shown. All boardmembers present agreed they were good with not meeting in January, April, August and November.
Ms. Utley opposed having to ask permission from City Council to create a committee. She opined that this may cause problems for the Board to accomplish a task in the future. Ms. Utley was concerned that this would allow censorship by the Council over the Board.
Ms. Krause provided a through explanation of the reasoning behind City Councils request to limit creation of any committee by Council approval only.
Mr. Strobel inquired about members of the Board discussing an item with each other outside of a meeting. He fully supported the change since the request to form the committee and their tasks would come from the Board.
Chair Gordon asked for a motion to approve the change.
PORTER/UTLEY – MOVED TO APPROVE THE RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE LIBRARY ADVISORY BOARD BYLAWS ARTICLE FOUR, MEETINGS, REDUCING MEETINGS TO FEBRUARY, MARCH, MAY, JUNE, JULY, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER AND DECEMBER AND ARTICLE FIVE, COMMITTEES, WILL ONLY BE APPOINTED AND BECOME ACTIVE UPON APPROVAL OF COUNCIL.
There was no further discussion.
VOTE. YES. STROBEL, GORDON, PORTER, UTLEY
Recommendation: Approve the request to amend the Library Advisory Bylaws Section 4, Meetings, Reducing the annual monthly meetings to February, March, May, June, July, September, October and December and Amend Section Five, Committees, to change the creation of committees by Council through resolution only.