Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Trustees 

May 19, 2022 

4:30 p.m. - Video Conference  


Attendees:  Bill Donovan, Susan Powell, Jon Anderson, Dave Dittmer, Jim Kupel, Emily Ward, Anne Janak, Judy Johnson, Ellen Detlefsen, Allen Paul, Kim Corthell, Lenore Rapkin, Catherine Morrison (Ass’t. Director), Nancy Crowell (Director).   

The meeting was called to order at 4:30 by the President, Bill Donovan. 

Bill officially welcomed Kim Corthell to the Board as the new representative of the Friends of the Library. 

Adoption of the Minutes of April 21, 2022:   Motion to adopt made by Anne Janak, seconded by Susan Powell, passed unanimously. 

Treasurer’s Report:  Dave reported that we have less in liabilities and equities than last month due to the volatile stock market. 

Motion to accept made by Anne Janak, seconded by Ellen Detlefsen, passed unanimously. 

Library Director’s Report:  Nancy reported that she is ready to make an offer to a candidate for the youth services manager position. The candidate has significant experience in a nearby library.  Bill commented that she has good energy.  She met with the staff yesterday and received a good reception. 

In the first paragraph of the report, under Gifts and Memorials, the Barnard estate has been received but not yet processed, so its value has not yet been entered in our books.  H.M. Payson is handling the estate, so we need to open an account with them before we can sell the portfolio holdings and realize the cash value.  Most of the jewelry has been evaluated over the years; we will ask Cross Jewelers to do an evaluation for us once we have the necessary paperwork in order.  Ellen has agreed to circulate Danuta Barnard’s obituary to Board members. Nancy pointed out that the Library does not typically accept tangible assets as gifts, but these arrangements had been made in advance of Danuta’s passing.     

Town Councilor’s Remarks:  The budget was approved yesterday at a Council meeting.  An amendment was added concerning the authority of the Council to approve CIP requests and Jon felt that several councilors used this discussion to voice their concerns over the Library expansion, and what exactly this will mean in terms of operating expenses.  There will be a workshop in July to discuss all of this, including the possible impact such an expansion might have on traffic in the area, a topic raised recently by John Cloutier in conversation with Jon.  Following the workshop, in August the Library will submit its request to go to referendum.  Dave asked if Jon thought this might happen before Summerfest, which could be a great publicity opportunity for us.  Jon thought that it was likely the meeting would be in early August.  He also thinks there may have to be extra meetings this summer to discuss issues like the Downs Exemption. Nancy asked about the amount of debt the Town could tolerate, and Jon replied that the Town tries to keep debt services at 13% of the annual budget.  There still is the question of the schools, we now have the entire 6th grade in portables, but no fixed decision yet as to whether to consolidate or not.  And if the community centre goes the way of using a TIF, then the only major projects are the Library and the schools, both of which are real needs, and both of which will affect taxpayers in some way.  Looking back to Council inaction as far away as 2005, it seems way past time for councilors to finally take a stand and make hard and fast decisions that may not be popular in terms of raising taxes but which fulfill real needs in the community.  

Jim reminded us that we need to include in our messaging an answer to the question, what if it (the referendum) fails.  Fund raisers don’t like to address that possibility, but politically it could be necessary to do so.  Do we need to have “what if” alternatives?  He also encouraged us to attend Council meetings when possible, 

Jon said that both April Sither and Don Hamill voted against the Library CIP question, she because she felt its scope to be too big and he for a variety of reasons including the operating budget plus the fact that there are other projects in the offing to be considered.  Jon also cautioned that even though other councilors seemed supportive at the meeting, he can’t be sure they will support the Library when it is put to the larger vote. 

Bill said that operating costs were being looked into, and asked Nancy to elaborate.  She reported that, with the help of Tom Corbett in the Library, utility costs are being calculate; she is receiving help from Community Services on building maintenance costs, and she and her staff still have to work out possible staffing costs in a larger building.  Once all of these costs are compiled she will send everything off to the architects, who will prepare a presentation including HVAC and engineering costs.  They will be able to extrapolate from current usage figures what the impact might be in the proposed new space.  

Jim emphasized the importance of showing up for meetings as well as contacting councilors via email, and urged us to show up for the workshop. 

President’s Remarks:  Bill reserved his remarks until later on the agenda. 

Consent Calendar:  Ellen Detlefsen moved to accept the Consent Calendar.  Motion seconded by Allen Paul and passed unanimously.  

Old Business 

Building Project Update:  Susan reported that she had nothing to add to the written report. 

Fundraising Campaign:  John Lanham’s report is in the packet.  Bill is very encouraged by the enthusiasm of some of our fundraisers and donors. 

Dave asked for clarification on the Impact Fund.  Our goal for the end of June is $300,000, with the goal through November, 2022 of $450,000.  So far we have raised about $200,000, some of which is in matching funds.  Much is dependent on a successful vote in November.  We have other funds that have been raised and are contingent on a successful vote in November, but the Impact Fund is our safety net in the event the vote fails. 

Citizen Campaign—Every Library:  Nancy said she would turn this discussion over to Jim, since we now do have a Citizen Campaign Committee and Jim has joined it as communications person. 

Jim began by saying how impressed he was with John Chrastka.  On the question of what we as Board members could do for the Vote Yes Committee, Jim said John advised that we did not really have any restrictions.  John also advised Jim that we would need funds for some activities, such as materials for advertising and drop-off flyers etc.  Jim then requested that each of us have in mind 5 people who would endorse the Library project and would be willing to man tables, knock on doors, etc. 

Ellen once again encouraged all of us to join EveryLibrary to support its mission. 

Susan and Tom have compiled a list of talking points to support our project. 

Peter Freilinger, who is running for Town Council in the upcoming election next month has said that he will support the Library project. 

Update on FY2022-23 Budget (Nancy Crowell and Dave Dittmer):  the budget passed in the Town Council.  Nancy commented on the good work of the Council Finance Committee.  This is the first year that our budget went through without any changes. 

In answer to a question by Judy, we are now asking people to wear masks throughout the Library, staff who do not work behind plexiglass are remaining masked, and childrens’ programs are moving outdoors. 

Motion to approve revised policy for Director’s Performance Review and Board of Trustees skills assessment and self-assessment for FY2022:  both items, to be presented by the PNG Committee have been tabled to a future meeting.  Bill asked Emily to comment.  Emily responded that there has been an issue with the technology.  She has received most of the responses by now but not in time to present at today’s meeting. 

Report on Policy Review project:  Allen reported that the project has required a good deal of effort and many meetings, but he has managed to reduce 113 topics to just 60 purely by consolidation, no eliminations.  He commented on how helpful Tom had been.  There is still work to do and he is looking for evidence of policies being approved.  Policies should be regularly reviewed, one-third each year.  Tom has updated the website to the present.  Susan thanked Allen for his work and Kim offered to assist. 

New Business 

MOTION:  Posting of names for terms to expire 2025:  Susan Powell, second full term; Judy Johnson, first full term; Dave Dittmer, first full term; and Kristen Verrico, nomination withdrawn;   

Motion to accept made by Lenore Rapkin, seconded by Ellen Detlefsen, carried unanimously. 

Emily added the explanation that Kristen was concerned about the time commitment as well as the expectation of annual donations.  Emily suggested that she begin by joining the Friends of the Library. 

Nancy explained that the usual time for the Nomination of Officers for the coming fiscal year would be at this meeting, with the vote to happen at the end of the June meeting as that meeting’s last order of business. 

MOTION:  Starting in Fiscal Year 2023 the Scarborough Public Library Corporation shall pay a buy-out to eligible employees not enrolled in the Library’s health insurance plan.  Such buy-out will mirror that offered to non-union town employees. 

Motion made by Susan Powell, seconded by Anne Janak.  Jim Kupel questioned the term “buy-out.” Catherine said that was the term used in the documentation.  The vote carried unanimously. 

MOTION:  The Library will add Juneteenth to the holiday closing schedule. 

Motion made by Susan Powell, seconded by Ellen Detlefsen.  This is an official national holiday.  The motion carried unanimously. 

Items for the Next Agenda 

There will be two carry-over items from the PNG Committee. 

At 5:47 a motion was made by Lenore Rapkin, seconded by Ellen Detlefsen, to retire into Executive Session. 

At this point Nancy and Catherine left the meeting and the remaining Trustees reviewed Nancy’s performance for the past year. 

At 6:10 the meeting was adjourned following a motion by Jim Kupel, seconded by Ellen Detlefsen. 


Respectfully submitted, 

Lenore Rapkin 



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