VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVE GOLD COAST LIBRARY BUDGET; ELECT THREE TRUSTEES - ONE AS A WRITE IN CANDIDATE
September 10-- On Monday, residents in the Gold Coast Public Library District, voted to approve the Library Board's proposed $1,563,885 budget for 2014. In addition, voters re-elected two trustees, and returned a former trustee to the board as a write-in candidate.
The budget passed by a count of 106 votes for and 19 against. The increase over last year's budget is approximately $45,000. The estimated tax levy for 2014 is 1,450,285 - again an approximately $45,000 increase over last year (see table to the right).
Trustee Rosemarie Ryba, who also currently serves as the board's vice president, and Trustee Amy Kempton were re-elected. Ms. Ryba received 101 votes, and Ms. Kempton 109. Both Ms. Kempton and Ms. Ryba were members of the North Shore Citizens Committee for Library Service which worked to bring a library to the Glen Head area during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and both have been on the board since the library opened in 2005.
Because there was not a third candidate who had submitted a petition to be on the ballot, the resident receiving the most write-in votes is elected to the position. Kevin Kelly, who had served on the library's board in the past, as both a trustee and president, received the most write-in votes with nine. He was followed by David Marta with seven, George Pombar with three, and a fourth write-in candidate received a single vote. Mr. Kelly's election is, of course, dependent on whether he agrees to accept the position.
GOLD COAST LIBRARY HOSTS MEET THE CANDIDATES EVENT FOR BOARD OF TRUSTEES POSITIONS
Rosemarie Ryba and Amy Kempton
On Wednesday, August 28th the Gold Coast Public Library held a Meet the Candidates event for the two candidates running for three seats on the Library’s Board of Trustees. Incumbents Amy Kempton and Rosemarie Ryba are seeking re-election. The third incumbent, Kevin Glassman, whose term is also expiring, is not seeking another three years on the board. Under these circumstances, the third seat would go to an individual who receives the most write-in votes.
If no one receives any write-ins, then the 9 member board can appoint someone from the
community to fill the seat.
Both Ms. Kempton and Ms. Ryba were members of the original North Shore Citizens Committee for Library Service which worked throughout the late 1990’s and early 2000’s to have a library district created for the communities of Old Brookville, Greenvale, Glen Head, and Glenwood Landing. The effort developed out of a project of the Girl Scout troop the two women led. After the scouts raised the question, “Why doesn’t our community have a library,” the issue was pursued. Lobbying the state legislature, the North Shore Citizens Committee achieved its goal, as an act was passed creating the Gold Coast Library District in 2001. In 2005, the library acquired the building it currently occupies at 50 Railroad Avenue on the eastbound side of the Glen Head LIRR station. In 2009, the library added the Annex, a building away.
Ms. Kempton has been a Trustee since the library’s establishment, and has served in various roles including vice president and secretary. Ms. Kempton states that she is “proud of the progress we have made so far. We have provided our community with a library building and annex, hired a dynamic and professional library director and staff who in turn developed collections of print materials, CDs DVD’s and online resource data bases. . . . In addition, this year, our residents of all ages have enjoyed the expanded number and scope of the programs offered by the GCPLD.”
Ms. Ryba has also been a Trustee since the library’s opening in 2005. In addition, she was the Board’s first president, and currently serves as its vice president. She states that she “supports fiscal responsibility and ever-improving library services. Gold Coast’s tax
rate is one of the lowest in Nassau County with most families paying approximately $100 per year. Services have expanded to include longer hours, greater use of technology
and better programming. Use of the library has expanded and for the first time in its history, the library was visited more than 100,000 times in a year.”
At Meet the Candidates Night, the discussion involved community members, the two candidates, Library Board Treasurer Barbara Palermo, Library Board President Nancy Benchimol, and Library Director Michael Morea. A variety of issues were raised ranging from financial issues, to the direction in which the library would be going in terms of services and programs, and how should community members voice their opinions on library issues.
Ms. Ryba stated that focus groups have been very important in developing library programs. “We have more than doubled the programs,” she stated, “based on what was discussed during the focus groups.” This process would continue as the library looks to the future, she said. Ms. Kempton added that at Board Meetings, the public is given the
opportunity to comment.
With regard to keeping costs in check, Ms. Benchimol replied that the library does “zero-based budgeting” to avoid non-essential spending.
When asked about the practice of tutoring taking place in the library and the appropriateness of “running a business” in the library, GCPL Director Michael Morea replied that it could be that it is not a business – that it is a friend or a brother tutoring a brother. “If a community member brings in a tutor, we can’t throw them out." He stated.
Mr. Morea also responded to a question concerning staffing, saying that the library has one children’s and three reference librarians, and that they are considering adding a part-time children’s librarian. The staffing he said is in line with other libraries or perhaps in some cases less than others.
The Library Board of Trustees and Budget Vote will take place on Monday, September 9, from 9 am to 9 pm at the Gold Coast Public Library. Budget information can be found at the following link - GOLD COAST LIBRARY BUDGET
BACK TO HOME PAGE