Join other Residents for a Free Westhampton Free Library as we listen, learn and weigh-in on how Ann Skovek’s $1.3 million donation will be used for “Building Expansion” on a new building per the June 2016 Library audit on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at 6 pm.
Background: The Westhampton/Westhampton Beach/Quiogue community approved a $7.8 million bond in 2007 to build a new library. Doors opened on the new building in June 2010.
Since then, the Library’s Board of Appointed Trustees has accumulated nearly $1.8 million more in mainly tax dollars for additional capital projects (see June 2016 Audit detail above).
When a school board comprised of elected individuals, for example, wishes to spend tax money for a capital project such as artificial turf or field lights, it is put out for a community vote. Though the Westhampton Free Library is also supported by tax dollars, not only are their trustees not elected but they do not have to put anything but the budget increase out for a community vote.
Beginning August 2015, community taxpayers have called for an elected board of trustees, but the board refuses to allow trustee elections though there are elections for the Village, school and fire boards. The appointed trustees are clinging to the Library’s 1897 Charter specifying trustee appointments in the “private corporation.” Only the appointed trustees are allowed trustee votes in the private corporation; community taxpayers are denied the right to vote.
This leads to a private club governing a taxpayer-funded institution. To wit, three individuals have trustee applications on file to fill the one vacant trustee seat, and the appointed board has determined that none of these three taxpaying American citizens meet the esoteric needs of the board at this time.
17 of 24 Long Island association libraries have elected boards. Tell the appointed trustees that appointed isn’t American and it isn’t 1897 anymore. Tell them you want to vote for trustees of our taxpayer funded institution.
And until the Westhampton Free Library Board of Trustees is an elected entity, we encourage WH, WHB and Quiogue voters to VOTE NO to the Library’s budget increase this May.