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October 15, 2018 Minutes of the Regular Meeting

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD

343 S. FIFTH AVENUE, ANN ARBOR, MI

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2018

 

18-142 I. CALL TO ORDER

President Vander Broek called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. 

18-143 II. ATTENDANCE 

Board Present:  Victoria Green, Jim Leija, Jan Barney Newman, Colleen Sherman, Linh Song, Edward Surovell, Jamie Vander Broek

Staff:  Josie Parker, Eli Neiburger, Bill Cooper, Len Lemorie, Karen Wilson (recorder)                  

18-144 III. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

(Item of action) 

Trustee Barney Newman, supported by Treasurer Leija, moved to approve the agenda.   

President Vander Broek proposed an addition under New Business regarding a resolution on the City of Ann Arbor Proposal A.  

Trustee Green noted that it was unusual to add last minute topics to the agenda.  

Treasurer Leija, supported by Trustee Green, moved to add the proposed resolution under New Business.  

AYES:    Green, Leija, Barney Newman, Sherman, Song, Surovell, Vander Broek

NAYS:    None

Motion passed 7-0.

Treasurer Leija, supported by Vice President Song, moved to approve the agenda as amended. 

AYES:    Green, Leija, Barney Newman, Sherman, Song, Surovell, Vander Broek

NAYS:    None 

Motion passed 7-0. 

18-145 IV. CONSENT AGENDA

(Item of action) 

CA-1 Approval of Minutes of September 17, 2018  

CA-2 Approval of September 2018 Disbursements  

Trustee Sherman, supported by Treasurer Leija, moved to approve the consent agenda. 

AYES:    Green, Leija, Barney Newman, Sherman, Song, Surovell, Vander Broek

NAYS:    None 

Motion passed 7-0. 

18-146 V. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS 

David Diephuis 

I decided to speak when I heard you were adding something to the agenda. This is a comment I made at a lot of public meetings. I think it is an anathema to public transparency when resolutions are added at the last minute so that the public doesn’t know what you are doing. To come here and make a comment about, you know a resolution or an ordinance or whatever it happens to be that you are going to do. I understand that it is a timely situation and sometimes gets in the way of this but I just don’t think it’s correct. Thank you. David Diephuis, South State Street in Ann Arbor.  

18-147 VI. FINANCIAL REPORTS

Bill Cooper, Finance Manager 

Finance Manager Cooper presented the September 2018 financials in the Board Packet. He noted that reports are no longer showing accrual figures, only actual figures. September tax receipts of $14,664,111, 91% of the budgeted amount was received. Year-to-date revenue over expenditures was at $11,378,828. 

Trustee Barney Newman inquired whether the Library had not ever received the budgeted amount of tax receipts. Finance Manager Cooper stated that he was not aware of that ever happening.

Treasurer Leija stated that he appreciated the new reporting format. 

Vice President Song inquired about the Friends of the AADL $40,000 balance under Grants and Memorials. Finance Manager Cooper stated the balance was carried over from last year. No new monies have been received in this fiscal year from the Friends. 

18-148 VII. COMMITTEE REPORTS 

18-149 A. BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE 

Treasurer Leija reported the Budget & Finance Committee met on October 8th and discussed the progress of the 2017-2018 audit. The committee will meet again in November to review the draft audit. The audit will then be presented at the November Board meeting. The committee also discussed the new financial reporting format.  

Director Parker noted that an RFP will be drafted for the 2018-2019 audit as the contract with Rehmann expires with the 2017-2018 audit.  

18-150 VIII. DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Josie B. Parker, Director 

Director Parker submitted her written report in the packet and highlighted the following:  

AADL is looking forward to the preschool through third graders morning Halloween party. Large crowds are expected again this year.  

MeLCat has resumed and is being well received.  

In addition to break-out sessions on Staff Day, tours were provided to staff of partner organizations including an Ann Arbor Street Exhibit tour guided by Ray Detter.  

AADL has been notified by the State that our status as an Sub-Regional Library for the Blind is being changed to an Advocacy and Outreach Center beginning January 1st. Cassette cartridges and players being held here will be returned to Lansing. AADL will still provide support services and will circulate large print materials to Washtenaw County patrons. We will continue with the Visions conference and provide outreach services. Once the cassette cartridges are removed, the Friends will be moved in the basement over to that space allowing for the Library to use the space adjacent to the Secret Lab for housing supplies and equipment used in Secret Lab programming.  

Upcoming Lobbytorium events include the Halloween Puppet Show, the Taiwanese Puppet Theatre, Ignite Ann Arbor and author Susan Orleans.  

Several other upcoming programs include In Their Own Words on November 8th. A panel presentation by victims who spoke out against Larry Nassar.  

On October 25th, the League of Women Voters will be hosting a panel discussion on Proposal A, the Library Lot: Urban Park or Development?  

November 1st the Library hosts Becoming American Film and Discussion.  

AADL will launch an online collection of over 400 photographs from the Ann Arbor News archive of WWII military personnel along with The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial on November 10th.  

The Shiga Prefecture Calligraphy Exhibit came down this week. This exhibit was a great bridge to next year’s 50th anniversary of the Hikone collaboration.  

On Staff Day all staff were invited to participate in the HBM Architects mindbreaking exercise for their input towards the Downtown building program. The final report will be presented at the January 22, 2019 AADL Board meeting.  

The October meeting with Cook Ross for training on identifying and eliminating unconscious bias in the hiring process for managers and supervisors was postponed until early December.  

Director Parker acknowledged Melanie Baldwin as outgoing director of the Friends Book Shop. FAADL has selected a new director to begin in November.  

A summary of public and staff comments was viewed.  

A video of the new Everbrite located at Westgate was shown.   

Yesterday, on the 4th floor AADL held An Afternoon with Ninja Brian. Over 352 attended and lines for book signing went from the 4th floor down the stairway to the 1st floor.  

A patron created video of his one-string guitar made in the Secret Lab was viewed.  

Board members commented on the range of programs and the lack of space to accommodate attendees.  

18-151 IX. OLD BUSINESS 

18-049 A. UPDATE ON THE PUBLIC MEETING SPACES IN AADL BRANCHES PROJECT

Len Lemorie, Facilities Manager

Facilities Manager Lemorie reviewed the plans for bookable meeting rooms in Malletts Creek, Pittsfield and Traverwood. The anticipated cost of this project is roughly $290,000.  

Bid packet documents are ready for the bidding process. Bids results will be presented at the November Board meeting.  

18-152 X. NEW BUSINESS 

18-153 A. RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE CITY OF ANN ARBOR PROPOSAL A TO DESIGNATE THE LIBRARY LOT AS AN URBAN PARK

(Item of Discussion and Action) 

Treasurer Leija, supported by Vice President Song, moved that the Board resolves that the Ann Arbor District Library opposes the City of Ann Arbor Proposal A for the City-owned public land bounded by Fifth Avenue and William, Division and Liberty Streets to be designated, in perpetuity, as an urban park and civic center commons to be known as the “Center of the City” by amending the Ann Arbor City Charter; that all resolutions and parts of resolutions that conflict with the provisions of this resolution are rescinded. 

Trustee Green read the City of Ann Arbor Proposal A for clarification. Pondered whether the Library Board should express an opinion and deemed yes. Trustee Green stated that people are saying what’s good or not good for the library, but the library isn’t speaking for itself. She expressed how the library could be successful with a park, but also successful with a busy commercial space. The main sticking point was the phrase “in perpetuity.”  

Board members expressed opinions and concerns regarding the space being designated “in perpetuity” as an urban park and that commercial activity on this central Downtown block is extremely limited.  

Trustee Barney Newman agreed that “in perpetuity” was a major problem with Prop A. Stated that taking the city’s most important lands and turning it into a park the city admits it can’t maintain, would be a mistake.  

Trustee Sherman expressed her displeasure with the process used in bringing the resolution forward. Without prior discussion or notification it makes it difficult to determine what, if any background information is needed. Nor does it provide for notice to the public to allow comment on. She stated that the Board needs to address how it communicates in the future.  

Treasurer Leija noted that the Executive Committee discussed the resolution and did not make the decision lightly to bring the resolution forward. Trustee Leija also brought up the phrase “in perpetuity” and credited Trustee Surovell with providing a long view on the Library Lot. Stated that the library would proceed in the best and most positive spirit with whatever happens next door. 

President Vander Broek discussed the previous Board meeting in which exciting possibilities for the Library Lot and Downtown were presented. Commented that the library is a well-suited partner with anyone next door. 

Secretary Surovell stated that zoning in perpetuity by referendum is a bad idea. Stated that no construction had happened on this stretch of Fifth Avenue other than the bus station and underground parking lot in 22 years. Not enough commercial activity in the center of downtown to make a park make sense. Lamented that Prop A had not gone through the processes any other development would have gone through before being put to a vote. Trustee Surovell stated that the library’s flexibility is small and putting a park next door makes it much worse. A perpetual park can’t be changed. 

Trustee Song stated that the library has been neighbors with a parking lot for 20 years and wants to avoid the same situation for another 20 years. She’s seen how successful grassroots organizations like the Ann Arbor Skate Park raised money and worked with the city to fund itself, but turning the Library Lot into a perpetual park by referendum isn’t how it’s worked so far.  

AYES:    Green, Leija, Barney Newman, Sherman, Song, Surovell, Vander Broek

NAYS:    None

Motion passed 7-0. 

18-154 B. REVIEW OF THREE YEAR SNOW REMOVAL CONTRACT

(Item of Discussion)

Len Lemorie, Facilities Manager 

Facilities Manager has received two of three anticipated bids for snow removal at all locations except Westgate and the Archives.  

Bid proposals will be brought to the Board at the November Board meeting. 

18-155 XI. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS  

Dave 

Thanks for listening. I’m Dave and I’m from the west side of Ann Arbor. I wanted to, as I understand the mission of the library is to provide access to the information core, to the public and I wanted to mention a project I recently heard of. It’s called Futel and they say it’s in one line it’s the cross between a social service and art project providing radically accessible communication tools. It’s funded by grants and the project aims to provide public no pay phones for phone calls for voice mail and other telephone related services. They currently have six phones, five in Portland, one in Ypsi and last year they served 14 thousand calls. So me thinking, oh library provides public resources, to oh, things like the Internet, it’s a natural place to have a no pay phone to supplement what the library currently provides. I think they only ask for a site for the phone and Internet bandwidth.  Because it’s a voice over IP phone. My understanding for this, my idea for the library is a lot of patrons may not even have access to phone service. The library currently provides access to Internet, to Wi-Fi. If they have a phone, but no phone service but a mobile device, they can use the Internet, if they don’t even have that, there’s computing resources, this can supplement that. I met with one of the co-founders, that’s why I mention this just spontaneously. Happy to connect the library with them or really provide more info about the project. I should note that I don’t have any affiliation with the project just beyond observing that I think it would be good to serve the populous. That’s all.  

Jessica Letaw 

Hi, my name is Jessica and I live on the west side of Ann Arbor on Fifth Street. I wanted to thank all of you for the kind of leadership that you are showing tonight. For the courage to make uncomfortable change, for the courage to make uncomfortable criticism and for the courage to receive it publically. I am a board member on Ann Arbor’s DDA, the Downtown Development Authority and am relatively new to the position. I’m just going into month eighth I think, and I’m learning a lot about what public service and public leadership means and what it looks like so I just want to thank you for the examples you are setting tonight. I am very grateful.

18-156 XII. ADJOURNMENT      

President Vander Broek adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.