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Did library bd violate their rules when they cancelled cybermobile?
Release Date: December 30, 2007
The Library Board announced, earlier this week, that they will be eliminating the cybermobile and that they will close the Library on Sunday's -effective in January, 2008. I do not agree with this decision. I feel that the library should maintain both services and defer some spending and purchases until after the new library opens. The library is scheduled to open no sooner than October, 2008 - possibly later.
The following e mail was received from civic leader Robert Reninger and questions whether the Library Board violated their own rules/procedures when they held their meeting. The Library Board has the legal ability to shift funds from their budget without obtaining approval from the Town Board.
TO: Greenburgh Town Board
FROM: Robert Reninger
DATE: December 28, 2007
SUBJECT: Greenburgh Library Board of Trustees
On December 27, 2007 the Library Trustees announced the permanent cessation of both Cybermobile and Sunday services during the 2008 budget year. This action was apparently taken unilaterally without the advice and consent of the Town Board. Apparently the Greenburgh Public Library claims it is “an independent autonomous and education corporation chartered by the Board of Regents”, and as such is not a Department of the Town of Greenburgh because it was created as a public library by special enabling legislation.
The bylaws of the Greenburgh Public Library were most recently amended on September 26, 2006. The actions taken by the Library Trustees on December 27, 2006 violate their own bylaws in several significant ways.
Article II, section A of the bylaws require that all Board members formulate, establish and review all policies pertaining to the operation and administration of the Greenburgh Public Library. The Trustees have not disclosed whether they complied with Article II of their own bylaws when they abolished daily Cybermobile and Sunday Library services.
Article V, Section B of the bylaws requires that the Trustees give written notice at least three days prior before all special meetings. There is no available public evidence which indicates that the Trustees gave any notice to anyone about the pendency of their actions with reference to the Cybermobile and Sunday Library services.
Article V, section C of the bylaws requires that executive sessions be subject to the limitations of the Open Meetings Law. Cessation of Cybermobile and Sunday Library services cannot be approved in an executive session.
Article VI, section D of the bylaws prohibits Board members from acting in the name of the Board outside of Board meetings. There is no public evidence that the December 27, 2007 announcement by the Board complies with their own bylaws.