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February 18, 2019 Minutes of the Regular Meeting







President Song called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. 


Board Present:  Dharma Akmon, Victoria Green, Jim Leija, S. Kerene Moore, Colleen Sherman, Linh Song, Jamie Vander Broek (arr. 7:07 p.m.)

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

19-023 III. APPROVAL OF AGENDA                                                  

(Item of action)

Vice President Leija, supported by Secretary Moore, moved to approve the agenda. 

AYES:    Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song

NAYS:    None 

Motion passed 6-0.


(Item of action) 

CA-1 Approval of Minutes of January 22, 2019  

CA-2 Approval of January 2019 Disbursements  

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

AYES:    Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song

NAYS:    None 

Motion passed 6-0 


There were no citizens’ comments. 


Bill Cooper, Finance Manager 

Finance Manager Cooper presented the January 2019 financials in the Board Packet.  January tax receipts of $15,686,663, 96.9% of the budgeted amount was received. Year-to-date revenue over expenditures was at $7,458,750. No line items are over budget.  

The City Lore Grant monies of $600.00 have been expended on the Becoming American series.  



President Song reported that the Executive Committee met prior to tonight’s Board meeting. The Committee reviewed several policies that will be brought to the Board at the March meeting for review and will be voted on at the April meeting. The Committee also discussed a Board Retreat.  

(Trustee Vander Broek arrived at the meeting at 7:07 p.m.) 

The Board discussed the structure of the Executive Committee. It was clarified that in accordance with the Bylaws the President calls the Executive Committee meetings and any two of the other three Board Officers are invited to attend.  


Josie B. Parker, Director 

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

  • The photographic exhibit of the history of The Dunbar Center is now on display on the 2nd floor of the Downtown Library.
  • Washtenaw County has created a new GIS map of the boundaries of all the district libraries within the County.  
  • The Downtown Library will be closed from February 25th through March 8th for painting, installation of new carpeting and vinyl in the first floor lobby area.
  • Over 200 attended the recent Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Step Show performance in the Lobbytorium.
  • Malletts Creek will close April 8th for construction of bookable meeting rooms.
  • Pittsfield and Traverwood will close in September and October for construction of bookable meeting rooms.
  • New Ipads for the children’s area will arrive at Westgate by March 30th.  

A summary of public and staff comments were viewed. 

Director Parker reported that community partners were notified in advance of the Downtown Library’s closure. Notices are posted on the building and on the website for the general public. Holds will be available for pickup at the Westgate Library. The collection will be available to fill requests. The first floor lobby area is the only space impacted by the closure.  



Eli Neiburger, Deputy Director 

Deputy Director Neiburger gave an update on all planned projects.  

The Downtown Library lobby will have new paint, carpeting and vinyl. Directional vinyl will be applied after the paint has cured. The entrance to the youth department will have a fresh look. The collections in the lobby area will be staged for installation of carpeting. Staff will be working in the building during this closure.  

Malletts Creek Branch will be closing on April 8th for six weeks. New carpeting will be installed along with the creation of two bookable meeting rooms. New computers will be installed and the collection will be converted to BISAC.  

The fourth floor staff area will be painted and carpeted. Staff work areas will be staged once furniture arrives.  

The construction of new bookable meeting rooms at Pittsfield and Traverwood branches has been postponed to the fall.  

Pittsfield will have two small meeting rooms and the computer room will be converted to a larger bookable meeting room. Ten computers will still be available for public use. Carpeting will also be replaced.

Traverwood will have one bookable meeting room, carpeting will be replaced and youth non-fiction will be pulled from the adult collection.  



(Item of discussion and action) 

Director Parker stated the current strategic plan expires at the end of June. She reviewed with the Board the different processes used in creating strategic plans in the past. She noted that plans have gone from 10 years to 5 years to 2 years in duration.  

Vice President Leija stated that as the library is now a district for 20 plus years, he would like a vision exercise on what a 40 plus years district library would look like. He also would like to explore what different consultants are available for the strategic planning process.  

Director Parker recommended allowing for staff input into the strategic plan as has been done in the past. Staff would provide the framework of the document which would then be forwarded to the Board for further discussion.  

President Song noted that the strategic plan is not an operations document, but an aspirational plan and would be interested in seeing what staff ideas would be.  

Trustee Green, supported by Treasurer Sherman, moved to form a Strategic Planning Committee for one year.  

It was consensus of the Board to provide a charge to the committee at the March meeting. Trustee Vander Broek volunteered for the committee and it was noted that Director Parker will also serve on the committee. President Song requested that Board members interested in serving on the committee contact her.  

The motion was voted on. 

AYES:    Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song, Vander Broek 

NAYS:    None

Motion passed 7-0. 


 (Item of discussion and action)

The Board discussed holding the retreat during a weekday during the day.  Any meeting space used should be accessible by public transportation. Past retreats have been for four hours. April and May dates are to be considered.

Focus of the retreat is to be fine-tuned. In the past staff has reported out beyond their normal reports. The HBM architects report can be delved into further. Trustee Green requested to see a twenty year old strategic plan.

Staff was directed to poll the Board for a date that works for all.  


Jeff Kovac 

The gentleman passing the booklets out to you, and I’m sorry I didn’t bring more, is our sales associate. I am one of the principals of a company called Expert Lighting Group. We are a very professional lighting company. Unique resume in that I have been a lighting manufacturer for forty-five or fifty year career. I would tell you fifty-five but it would make me sound way too old but it would be the truth. My partner is actually one of only four hundred certified lighting efficiency professionals in the state of Michigan. And he was hired by DTE to serve a residence at Ford for three and one half years. He actually wrote all of the specifications for Ford Motor for LED lighting in plants and office facilities. He left, he started his own business, I joined him as a collaborating partner and we do sophisticated retrofit LED lighting projects. Industrial, commercial, and otherwise. We have learned how to use tools that the State of Michigan provided for municipalities and school systems to make projects cash flow free from day one. We’re good at it, frankly we have done it repeatedly. My sales associate, Mr. Oest sitting over there, called me this morning after he met with one of you and told me about the project at a glance and with the number of burn hours you have I am telling you that we can probably without question reduce the utility cost for lighting this library by seventy percent. And do it probably without costing a nickel of capital budget. I know that may sound too good to be true. It’s actually relatively straight forward. We’re professional enough to do it number one and number two is it’s really utilizing the toolkit that the State of Michigan has put in place for exactly this purpose. Eli and I spoke for a brief second and I would be glad to stay around afterwards and explain further. But my favorite line, and I use it for you in closing, is if light was water everybody would be rushing to call a plumber. The bottom line is that you have no idea how much of the resources in this library you are wasting in the utility bill that pays your lights because unlike a leak in a sink or a toilet or whatever you can’t see it touch it or feel it. But believe me it’s there. So again, I would be glad to explain what we do. It sounds like you are in the right frame of mind and position given the other renovation work that is going on at this branch and the same by the way holds true and is applicable to the other branches.  I will tell you that there are a number of seemingly cost sharing or cost saving methods to do projects. Most of them are blind and do not benefit the buyer of the system being put in place. Thank you.  

19-035 XII. ADJOURNMENT      

President Song adjourned the meeting at 8:06 p.m.