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May 2023

Agenda HERE

Financial Report HERE

Proposed Budget 23-24 HERE

Budget Narrative HERE

Agenda Items

As this was Joan Wingate's last board meeting, she chose not to attend and instead Robert Judge read her usual reports. Joan has been a good board member, the last one I can say who was on the board of control without any political motivation at all. Joan was there solely because she loves the library and wants it to be better. Although I would have liked for her to speak up more often, I know Joan, and I understand why she didn't sometimes - Robert Judge and his posse can be very intimidating; more like bullies than co-board members, and agenda-driven bullies are hard to stand up to even when they aren't staring you down from all sides. Even so, Joan always did her best to vote in the best interests of the library and its patrons, and the board is definitely worse off now that she is gone.

Still no electric charging stations at West Regional. The Director is "working" on a public/private partnership. I'm so sick of hearing about "public/private" from this administration.

South Regional Library Renovation

The big takeaway here is a comment from Facilities Director Larry Angelle. When asked about the Renovations (because, let's face it, the board members still don't understand what we're doing, why, or how much it costs), Larry said,

“We had funding. If we would have gone out for bid at the time we had construction docs ready for the expansion project, we would have missed all of these price increases & we would have had a larger facility with redundant chillers which are better than what we are proposing here. So we missed our opportunity. You guys (meaning the board) wanted to hold things back, but as far as the budget went for the project itself, it was on point, we would have had more options that would have come at a way lower price.”

That sums it all up, I think. Yet another project delayed because of ignorance and concern about "waste," ends up rife with waste because the people in charge of it are in no way suited to oversee a project of this size and complexity. It's like putting a bucket of fish in charge of renovations to an airplane hangar.

NE Regional Property Presentation

Another lovely property was presented at the meeting, this one across the street from the LPSS property on Louisiana Avenue. After listening to the presentation by the representative of the owners, Robert Judge felt it necessary to tell everyone that we needed to slow down a little bit, do some more RESEARCH (because, you know, two years of research isn't enough), and think about that LEASE option again.

I mean.

This man is determined to get that lease. At this point it should be obvious to everyone that there is a group of people, among them Judge, Carlson, & Lunsford, as well as their financial backers, who have decided amongst themselves that this library will never be built. The tactic seems to be delay, delay, some studies, form a committee...delay some more, etc. If they're backed into a corner, they're willing to "compromise" by offering to lease a temporary space for a few years while they work out a way to manipulate the numbers enough to prove that the area just doesn't have enough traffic to support a full-blown free-standing library. Otherwise, continue to delay.

I have some bad news for them, though. Sorry fellas. It ain't gonna work this time.

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