Your Tax $$$ Being Spent to Deny Your Vote

You’ve got to read the privileged and confidential letter (attached below).  The library redacted the contact information of their attorney’s letter before disseminating it publicly to those who requested and then paid for it.  You can also read Board of Trustees President Tom Moore’s email with Request for Opinion, behind the letter.  The Board emailed these same documents, along with others, to all Library employees last week as well.

Zuckerman letter

With two attorneys already on the appointed Board of Trustees of the Westhampton Free Library, the Library hired labor attorney Richard Zuckerman to “strengthen [their] potential argument that the NLRB should no longer assert its jurisdiction over the Library because it is an exempt ‘political subdivision’ of the State.”

That’s right folks.  The Library used your tax dollars to hire a top-tier labor attorney to set out to “prove” by cherry-picking bits of information that an elected Board of Trustees could, conceivably, maybe, possibly, somehow one day in the near or far future harm the Westhampton Free Library.

Though we respect that the Board is doing research, as well they should, the Board did not in good faith use our tax dollars.  They decided from the outset that they wanted to remain appointed and set out to “prove” that but, frankly, they were dishonest.  Many of their statements and analogies are completely false or, conveniently, only tell part of the story.  Please revisit the Executive Summary 4.11.16 and the Westhampton Free Libraryelectedboardreport Final after reading the attorney letter above and after viewing the chart located on page A6 of The Southampton Press, the April 21, 2016 edition.

Furthermore, nowhere in their documents does the Board correctly or fully cite the NYS Department of Education Association Library District Model.  “This model is available to libraries currently chartered as Association Libraries that do not want to relinquish their ‘private’ status by re-chartering as a School District Public Library or a Special Legislative District Public Library.”

This document states, “Association Library bylaws should be amended by the board of trustees to ensure that all eligible voters within the library’s service area can ‘join’ the library association and participate in annual elections to select library trustees.”

It also states as “Advantages of the Association Library District Model” that “it does not require re-chartering of the library,” and “the library can remain a non-profit entity and avoid having to comply with civil service and public procurement laws and regulations.”

Since early fall 2015 and nearly every month since, taxpayers have emailed this document to our Library Trustees and have publicly discussed it at monthly board meetings.  Yet the Board of Trustees of the Westhampton Free Library chose to ignore it completely.

Granting taxpayers the right to vote requires amending the bylaws.  Note how Mr. Zuckerman continually refers to the charter.

The Board didn’t spend our tax dollars asking the labor attorney to prove the successes of the majority 13 association libraries in Suffolk County with elected boards.  Or of other association libraries on Long Island with elected boards and unions.  The Port Jefferson Free Library, for example, unionized in June 1987 and moved to an elected board of trustees in 1990.  The South Country Library in Bellport in the 1950s extended the library association to include all the residents of the South Country School District.  Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton allowed for trustee elections in 1996.  The Shelter Island Public Library (all association libraries like the WHF Library) allowed for trustee elections in 2011.  We could go on.

We believe the appointed Board of Trustees of the Westhampton Free Library was deceitful in preparing their Report on the Selection of Trustees.  Please VOTE NO for the Library Budget in May.