At the November 18 Board Meeting a fourth Westhampton Free Library board member, Karen Andrews, resigned after 12 years of service. Though the three trustees who resigned at the October 30 meeting were immediately replaced by appointed individuals, this trustee position is now open.
The Library Board stated that they are creating an application form for interested individuals and will collect resumes. Those in attendance expressed concern that just the remaining four trustees will review the applications and resumes and appoint the next trustee. We suggested that at the very least, to start, a legitimate nominating committee comprised of community members should be formed to aid in the selection process.
We taxpayers are once again being denied our right to vote. The Board stated that their priorities in the coming months are to work through the first union contract as well as to attend to current pending administrative employee complaints. They also stated that though they hear the call for a taxpayer-elected board, this issue is low on their priority list.
We have been requesting since August 12, 2015, that the board research and discuss with the community the options for moving to an elected board. We concerned taxpayers have already done our research. Yes, it’s a new board and perhaps they need some time, but they stated themselves at the October 30 meeting that they were well aware of the issues facing the library.
This board should commit now to becoming a taxpayer-elected board. It’s a simple change to the by-laws, and perhaps an amendment to the charter if they wish to address term limits. This would get the process going. It is not difficult.
The current Westhampton Free Library Board of Trustees is either for or against the taxpayers’ right to vote. This issue has been on the table for three months already. How much longer do they need?