By re-chartering as a School District Public Library, a library may be able to expand its service area, resulting in an expansion of its tax base.Our first thought was...it's not the job of taxpayers to educate themselves about the plan to tax only New Hartford Central School District residents for a $1,000,000 library budget, but rather the library trustees should be open and make the information available to taxpayers well in advance of the referendum so they can then make an informed decision on August 23, 2012.
New Hartford Residents will be approving all future budgets by votes and can increase their funding by expanding their tax base to other communities. Go to the website and READ the facts. Be prov acted [we think they mean proactive] in finding out the details.
For months, certain members of this library board have met behind closed doors in total disregard of the Open Meetings Law to discuss their "plans" to increase their funding by re-chartering as a school district library. The have openly stated that meetings have been held in private, not even letting certain library trustees aware of when and where these meeings are being held.
But, our second thought was...WHY NOT? Why not let people know what the NYS Education touts as advantages.
The Board of Regents has general supervision of all educational activities to include all elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational institutions, libraries, museums, public broadcasting, records and archives, professions, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services, and such other institutions, organizations, and agencies as may be admitted to The University.
So, according to the NYS Education website, here are the "advantages" in "black print"; our comments are in "red print".
Advantages of the School District Public Library Model
By re-chartering as a School District Public Library, a library may be able to expand its service area, resulting in an expansion of its tax base. This may also reduce the number of unserved areas within the State.
This might be true in some school districts like Whitesboro that includes many towns in their district; however, New Hartford Central School District primarily serves residents in the Town and Village of New Hartford (7,411 parcels), plus 42 parcels in the Town of Paris; 76 parcels in the Town of Kirkland; and 158 in the Town of Frankfort.
This option provides an opportunity to develop equity in tax support for the library.
Really? How is there equity when only New Hartford Central School District taxpayers will be taxed for this $1,000,000 library vs. the $400,000 that ALL town residents are presently being taxed.
The latest report of the New Hartford Public Library states that 25% of their users are from outside the service area.
This may address situations in which people who live within the library's chartered service area (a town or a village) are paying higher taxes to support the library than people who live just outside the chartered service area.
Again, this is not true with the New Hartford Central School District.
School District Public Libraries have the ability to raise funds for capital projects by directing the school board to place a bonding resolution on the ballot.
Hold on to your wallets for this one!
The library trustees have already voted to deed the library land and building to the school district if they become a school district library...a necessary step in order for the school district to be able to bond on behalf of the library.
Currently, the land and building are owned by the New Hartford Public Library Board of Trustees...not the taxpayers.
Although the school board determines the time and place for the initial election to create and fund a School District Public Library, the new library board has the authority to set the time and place for future elections. Most are held within the library.
Got news for everyone...the vote to become a school district library with a budget of almost $1,000,000 will be held in the library on August 23, 2012 and is being paid for by the New Hartford Central School District.
Once an annual budget to fund a School District Public Library is approved by voters, funding will remain at the same level until the library board requests a change by placing a new proposition before the voters. There is no mechanism that would permit a proposition without library board approval to be placed on the ballot to reduce the amount of funding for the library.
So this should make taxpayers in the New Hartford Central School District happy???
Library Trustee and Treasurer, Earl Cunningham gave a presentation in support of their almost $1,000,000 budget at the June 20, 2012 Library board meeting which was held at noon in Butler Hall. We will be posting that video on Monday.
One other item on the same page of the NYS Education website as the "advantages" outlined above says:
The effort to seek public support to create and fund a library requires a firm commitment on the part of the library board and the director as well as a strong education & advocacy campaign. [emphasis added by blogger]The latest timeline put out by the New Hartford Public Library trustees says that they will be sending a press release to the paper on August 1, 2012 regarding the vote to be held on August 23, 2012.
About three (3) weeks notice to the New Hartford Central School District taxpayers for a vote to be held in the library two weeks before the end of August...a time when most people are either on vacation; getting ready to go on vacation for the Labor Day holiday; or busy getting children ready to start school.
Furthermore, library card holder names and addresses have been given to a third party to be used to garner support of their proposal with total disregard to NYS Civil Practice Law § 4509 that says:
Library records.They even held up the papers containing the names and addresses of library patrons at a recent library board meeting and said they were being passed along to someone who is not in any way connected to the library! It's all on videotape.
Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.