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June 17, 2013 Minutes of the Regular Meeting

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD
TRAVERWOOD BRANCH LIBRARY
3333 TRAVERWOOD DRIVE, ANN ARBOR, MI
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2013

13-121 I. CALL TO ORDER

President Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

13-122 II. ATTENDANCE

Present: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
Absent: Head
Staff: Choate, Parker, Wilson (recorder)

13-123 III. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
(Item of action)

Trustee Leary, supported by Treasurer Kaplan, moved to approve the agenda.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-124 IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MAY 6, 2013
(Item of action)

Trustee Surovell, supported by Trustee Murphy, moved to approve the minutes of May 6, 2013.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-125 V. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

Doug Jewett

This is to continue a little bit, the discussion that was opened up last few meetings, as you know the Michigan Open Meetings. Ellen Richardson was a law library specialist with the Library of Michigan up until a few years ago. She put together several little write ups with the intent of providing interpretation of the various laws specifically for the trustees of local library boards. Her whole write up runs about six pages double spaced and some small items that were a little bit beyond just what we already know, expect to find. She says “in recent months several public bodies including library boards have become painfully and publicly aware of the intricacies of the Michigan Open Meetings Act of 1976. Most library boards are well versed in meeting the basic requirements. Questions usually arise about some of the finer points of the Act. What about closed sessions, what about committee meetings. Closed sessions are allowed only for limited purposes stated in Section B of the Act. Library trustees who serve on boards in the private sector are often surprised at how limiting the exceptions are especially, in regards to personnel issues. Unless the person, subject to an evaluation, disciplinary action or complaint asks for a closed session, such matters must be handled in a public meeting. It often takes a great deal of discipline and tact to address these issues in a respectful yet effective way in public scrutiny. The Act also outlines the procedures that must be followed before the board may go into closed session. This is not an easy area of the law, trustees should make a practice to consult with legal counsel before the closed session is held. Your committee meetings need to follow the requirements of the Open Meetings Act. It has long been established that library board committees and subcommittees which include a quorum of library board members must comply with the Act. What if there is less than a quorum of board members on the committee? Board committees, such as budget committees are usually charged with a specific duty and delegated the authority to carry out that duty. Deliberations and decisions made during that committee meeting which will lead toward the final decision making by the full board. Recent Michigan Supreme Court decisions indicate that it is probably wise to make sure that all such committee meetings are open to the public.” And this is from the Library of Michigan website and I have a link here that Karen can have. Thank you.

Donald Salberg

Good evening library staff and board members. I live three blocks from here so welcome to my neighborhood, it’s very nice that you decided to come here and use these facilities. Now that the bond referendum has been defeated, I think it should be time to pay attention to maintenance and upgrades that were being considered with the existing library prior to the possibility of building a new library. I’m talking particularly about increasing power outlets because so many patrons are now bringing their own laptops and tablets and smart phones to the library and these need to be charged. I’m also talking about perhaps upgrades to the heating and cooling systems. And you might even want to make some changes in the lighting. I would imagine that all these would cost less than about 1 percent of your reserve fund and therefore should be affordable. Thank you.

Bob Rorke

My name is Bob Rorke, trustees, Percy. Percy was on my football team for two years. Tonight I want to talk about the Allerton Hill contract. The Communications Committee of the Ann Arbor District Library reported at the March 18th board meeting that Allerton Hill Consulting had been hired for $28,000 to perform a communications audit. A few weeks ago the Protect Our Libraries PAC filed a freedom of information request for documents relating to contracting for Allerton Hill Consulting. And after reading through the 634 pages in the FOIA which I did twice, I’m somewhat concerned by the action and have several questions. In reviewing the Allerton Hill proposal first two objectives, this project was listed as number one, provide high quality survey research on voter attitudes on the library, its voter attitudes, not patron attitudes. The second objective is offer high quality, long term messaging and targeting so that the Ann Arbor District Library is successful in its public initiatives. By public initiatives, I assume we are talking about ballot proposals and possibly bond proposals. Clearly Allerton Hill is a political consultant who does political work for a political campaign and a cursory search of the Internet will confirm that is their business. This raises the question as to the expenditure of public monies for these purposes by the Ann Arbor District Library and whether it’s legal under Michigan law. I say this because as a board member of the Ann Arbor Public Schools we had several elections and the constraints on our spending for political purposes were well defined and we were limited to basically talking about or showing facts and not doing anything in terms of advocacy. So my question tonight is where do we stand on this particular contract. Also it’s interesting after looking though the FOIA, was this competitively bid? Were other firms asked, in particularly, were other firms from the State of Michigan asked to bid on this? Thank you.

13-126 VI. FINANCIAL REPORTS

Director Parker presented the April and May financial reports in the absence of Associate Director Nieman.

As both reports were in the Board packet and Board members did not have questions regarding the April report, Director Parker proceeded to the more recent May report.

She reported the unrestricted cash balance was $8,775,632 down from $9,910,000. Tax receipts totaling over $11 million, 98.5% of the budgeted amount were received as of May 31st. An operating surplus of $417,846 for May was reported leaving the library with a positive fund balance of $8,363,474 which was up from the April fund balance. Adjustments to the year to date expenditures will be addressed later in this meeting.

13-127 VII. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
(Item of action)

Trustee Leary, supported by Trustee Murphy, moved to approve the May 2013 disbursements.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-128 VIII. COMMITTEE REPORTS

13-129 A. BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE

Chairperson Kaplan reported the committee had not met.

13-130 B. COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE

Chairperson Kaplan reported the committee had not met but plans on meeting this summer.

13-131 C. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

President Rosenthal reported the committee had not met.

13-132 D. FACILITIES COMMITTEE

Chairperson Leary reported the committee had not met but plans on meeting in July.

13-133 E. POLICY COMMITTEE

Chairperson Murphy reported the committee met and discussed the role of the Policy Committee. The committee will meet again later in the summer.

13-134 IX. DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Director Parker reported that the summer reading game with the theme of dogs has had a great kick off. Board members were encouraged to play the game.

The 3rd-5th graders short story contest had 99 writers from various area schools.

At the Midlands and Northern Conferences of the National Library Service (LBPH) AADL received the following resolution:

“Whereas there are over fifty regional network libraries and several subregional libraries in the United States and its territories and whereas many of the functions, duties, situations, problems and concerns faced by these libraries are common to many or all. Whereas reinventing the wheel is very time consuming, therefore be it resolved that the Northern Conference of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped commends the Midlands Conference and the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, in particular, for setting up an online depository for document for all libraries for blind and physically handicapped relating to several areas of common interest available to all libraries of the network. Be it also resolved that the Northern Conference of Libraries for Blind and Physically Handicapped commends the Oregon State Library for hosting the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped listserv which is the original and still viable means of electronic information here and across the Network.”

Director Parker thanked Terry Soave as she was the staff person who led this nationally for the WLPBD.

AADL is currently receiving title suggestions for the 2014 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads which has been declared the year of the fiction book. The theme is “A Very Good Read”.

13-135 X. NEW BUSINESS

13-136 A. RESOLUTION TO APPROVE THE CONTRACT TO MERIT NETWORK TO BUILD FIBER-OPTIC LINE TO PITTSFIELD BRANCH AND TO INCREASE THE 2013-2014 COMMUNICATIONS BUDGET LINE
(Item of action)

Trustee Leary, supported by Trustee Murphy, moved that the Board resolves as follows to approve the contract to build a fiber-optic data line to Pittsfield Branch to Merit Network, Inc. for the quoted amount of $112,150. To increase the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget line for Communications by $120,000. That the $120,000 increase for Communications be transferred from the Fund Balance. That all resolutions and parts of resolutions that conflict with the provisions of this resolution are rescinded.

Director Parker clarified that the difference between the quote from Merit and the Communications budget line increase was the “make ready” costs for the project.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-137 B. RESOLUTION TO AMEND THE 2012-2013 APPROVED BUDGET
(Item of action)

Trustee Surovell, supported by Trustee Murphy, moved that the Board resolves as follows, as read by Vice President Barney Newman, to transfer $12,000 from Repairs and Maintenance to Communications. To transfer $18,000 from Capital Outlays to Supplies. To transfer $15,000 from Capital Outlays to Utilities. To transfer $4,000 from Repairs to Other Operating Expenditures. To transfer $10,000 from Fund Balance/Restricted Funds to Programming. All resolutions and parts of resolutions that conflict with the provisions of this resolution are rescinded.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-138 XI. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

Lyn Davidge

I was just going to say that I think that this is an excellent idea and I thank you for taking the show on the road as it were for the summer months anyway. One thing that I would hope would happen at the next two meetings would be microphones, it was very, very hard to hear and I have passable hearing. I’ve never been in a meeting before in this room and obviously one factor is that we have some kid areas out there. But, to my knowledge I’ve been in meetings at all of the other branches and downtown and I know they all have microphones available, a stand mike or you know, a couple of these guys that you can pass around to take comments from the audience, that kind of thing. So if it’s possible to do it in the future at these meetings I think that would be very, very helpful. Thank you.

13-139 XII. ADJOURNMENT

Trustee Leary, supported by Trustee Murphy, moved to adjourn the meeting.

President Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 7:34 p.m.