One of the items that Board Trustee Edmund J. Wiatr, Jr. placed on the December 14, 2011 New Hartford Public Library Board of Trustees agenda was to consider starting each meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The reaction and comments from the other nine (9) trustees and their decision to abstain from voting was shocking and quite frankly disgusting.
The Library Director actually had the chutzpah to say that the pledge was a "waste of time". As Library Director, he doesn't even have a vote on the board...he would do well to keep his opinions to himself. The Board President also abstained and ended the vote with "Not carried". And don't miss the comment of the Treasurer of the Board who often times think his "barbs" are funny...they aren't.
Here is the video of that portion today's meeting:
We decided to do some research on the web to see whether or not other libraries start their meetings with the Pledge. Frankly, we couldn't find one that didn't include the Pledge...truly New Hartford Public Library seems to stand alone on this issue.
We found a slide show presented by Library Trustees Association of New York State titled "Holding Effective Public Library Board of Trustee Meetings".
On page 14, under "Typical Agenda", they list Pledge of Allegiance right after Call to Order.
What is wrong with this group of people that they think saying the Pledge is "for show" and "a waste of time"?
Look around the table...these are all educated people who are well-known in the community. They should all be embarrassed of this video...we certainly were embarrassed to have to sit there and witness their disgraceful behavior and lack of patriotism!
As far as this board goes, they would all do well to read the presentation by the Library Trustees Association of NYS to see how a "real" Library Board of Trustees is supposed to work!
p.s. There appears to be some "behind the scenes" emailing back and forth between members of the library board in an effort to defend the board's action today.
We welcome the Library Board President to submit a statement to us [for publication in it's entirety] defending the board's reaction to Mr. Wiatr's proposal to include the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every board meeting.