Board of Control Meeting
April Minutes HERE
May Minutes HERE
List of Discard (March - May) Items HERE
Financial Report HERE
Speaker Forms HERE. (Fill out a form for each item you wish to speak on. Forms will also be available at the meeting)
June marks the one-year anniversary of LPL's director canceling displays "which single out a portion of the population," a move made to satisfy board members' homophobic complaints about Pride displays that were put up at a few branch locations in 2021. Since then we've watched as neighboring parishes have put up wonderful displays about things like Women's History and Black History month, while LPL had things like this:
It's been a real treat.
And if that weren't bad enough, the board decided, in all their wisdom, to schedule their June meeting on what date? Juneteenth. Why offend one group when you can get two for the price of one? That's right, not only did Lafayette Public Libraries not close in recognition of this FEDERAL and STATE holiday, but the board decided to schedule their meeting, during which a topic important to the African American community (the NE library) would be discussed and action taken upon, on this day. As I said in my public comments, it's not just offensive - it's cartoonishly evil.
Their excuse was that since LCG doesn't recognize the holiday, neither would the library. Nice - so, since our parish government is ruled by bigots, we'll just join in. I reminded them that other Acadiana area parish libraries are closed in observance of the holiday - Acadia, St. Mary, and Vermilion among them - and that the level of disrespect shown by this choice was mind-boggling, to say the least.
Setting Millage Rates
As predicted, the board voted not to roll up the millage rates to give the library more funding next year, a move we expect the Parish Council to rubber stamp. We actually had a chance, I think, to convince some of the newer members of the board, who looked to Director Danny Gillane for guidance regarding the necessity for such a roll-up, but Danny, being the Charlie Brown of Lafayette library politics, kicked his half-hearted best and completely missed the football once again. His "pitch" if you want to call it that, was suggesting that, if the board members voted to roll up the millage, they could consider it a sort of "loan" to the library that they could then "repay" by rolling down the millage next year. As you might imagine, no one saw the need to do that when he'd just finished telling them that he's cut enough out of the budget to put the library in the black. It would have been so simple to explain to the board members looking to him for leadership that though the library was, indeed in the black, it was barely so, with absolutely no cushion whatsoever for any "rainy day" disasters such as a flood, or storm, or any other unexpected expense. Rolling up the millage would give the budget just enough cushion to ride out any short-term unexpected financial needs the library has, and allow it to begin rebuilding the fund balance back in earnest. Instead, Danny literally shrugged his shoulders, and, with no reason to fight for the extra money, the board members left it lying on the table.
NE Land Purchase
The only bright spot of the meeting was the vote to move forward with authorizing the Director to begin moving forward with the Lafayette Parish School System for the purchase of the Louisiana Avenue land for the construction of the library on the northeast side. This passed 5-0, with even Stephanie Armbruster's affirmative vote (Robert Judge and Erasto Padron were absent), though it remains to be seen if anything will actually come of the negotiations.
June's Censorship News
Lafayette school board offers land for new public library (The Advertiser)