At today’s board meeting, attended by more than 50 people (remarkable for a weekday morning and the fact that basically 0-3 taxpayers attended the public meetings prior to July 2015, and an almost 50% increase from the 35 attendees in September), Joan Levan, June Sellin and Marth-Ann Betjemann resigned from the Westhampton Free Library’s Board of Trustees.
They were replaced with handpicked, non-elected trustees Barbara Matros, Tom Moore and Susan Rosenberg. There were no postings for the open trustee positions, no interviews, no elections. Un-elected Tom Moore, husband of Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore, is now the new Board President. Joan Levan, the now resigned former library Board of Trustees President, was the campaign manager for Mayor Maria Moore’s spring 2014 Village of Westhampton Beach mayoral run. Mayor Moore was also simultaneously a library trustee until she resigned in August of 2015.
Tom Moore stated at the meeting, “I have serious reservations on moving to an elected board for something that has worked for over 100 years.”
Yes, appointed boards are legal, but is it right and good and fair in a taxpayer-funded institution? The majority of association libraries in Suffolk County, NY, and in the United States have moved to elected boards. Taxation with representation is the foundation of America.