The library is actually owned by the Board of Trustees which might explain why "certain" library trustees so aggressively try to keep "outsiders" on the outside.
We blogged in the past that the officers of the New Hartford Public Library never change; they merely rotate from one officer position to another each year.
The Nominating Committee is always chaired by and made of the "select" trustees and they never seem to recommend anyone for an officer position who isn't on the "approved" list.
Since the town does not own the library, a majority vote of the library board can make any changes to legal documents [i.e., their by-laws] that they want. It therefore pays for the "select" trustees to make sure that a majority of that board are close-knit "family and friends" people.
Of course, the town's recourse to any drastic changes could always be to cut off their funding, but who on this town board would do that?
Who would dare to stand up to the people who run this library?
Obviously, none of them because the library has gotten away with a lack of financial accountability of how taxpayer dollars are spent for years.
At the November 15, 2011 library meeting, a resolution was read to the trustees. In summary, the resolution stated:
"The President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Library (collectively, the "Authorized Officers"), each of them without the other, are hereby authorized to negotiate, prepare, execute, deliver and approve, in the name and on behalf of the Library, any and all documents and instruments to be executed and delivered by the Library in connection with the conversion of the Library to a school district library."You can read the resolution in its entirety here.
At the time that resolution was adopted, the President was Linda Romano; the Vice President was Virginia Emmert; and the Treasurer was Earl Cunningham.
At this point, the President is Linda Romano; the Vice President is Richard Evans, who works for Ms. Romano's father [Mrs. Emmert recently resigned from the library board]; and the Treasurer is Earl Cunningham.
This resolution was not sent to the trustees in advance so that they could read and understand what it says...it was merely handed to them at the appropriate time during the November 15, 2011 library trustee meeting. Sitting in the audience, it did not appear that any of the non-officer trustees even knew what they were agreeing to when they adopted that resolution. Nonetheless, like sheep, they all agreed.
Think of it...the library property is in the name of the Board of Trustees. This resolution allows any one of three (3) officers of this organization to sign any document in connection with the conversion to a school library.
We asked Trustee Wiatr if he was aware of any documents that may have already been prepared, signed and delivered to the NYS Education Dept. in anticipation of a successful rechartering vote...he was not. But of course, anyone could guess that to be the case, the current library board goes out of their way to keep "secrets" from Mr. Wiatr.
At many meetings, the Rechartering Committee reported that they were in the process of changing the library's by-laws. Were they changed and sent to the State Education Dept. under the signature of one or more of the officers that the above resolution gave signatory authority to?
As part of the Re-chartering, Ms. Romano convinced the board that Paul Reichel, Bond Schoeneck & King, should be the attorney to provide legal advice to the "select" trustees in regards to the rechartering. The board asked for regular updates as to the cost for Attorney Reichel's services to be sure that they remained within their budget and not overspend for legal services, but the discussion was never brought back before the board again.
Are there legal bills that need to now be paid? As part of Ms. Romano's authority given by the resolution how much debt did she authorize the library to incur for attorney fees to Bond, Schoeneck & King, the same law firm Ms. Romano works for?
What about the services of Tim Trainor who created all those nice color brochures that were left all around town? And what about the two (2) websites that were registered by Trainor Associates...yeah, we know they chose to hide their identity when they registered the sites so no one could use whois.net to find out the owners, but as you can see by clicking on the links below, we were one-step ahead of Trainor Associates:
Site 2 - nhlibraryvote.com
Were Mr. Trainor's services volunteer like Linda Romano told trustees or is there a lingering invoice waiting to be paid?
Were these "unknown" legal and public relations costs factored into the $1,000,000 budget that was rejected by voters?
Just how much authority did these three (3) trustees assume in their closed door meetings and what will be the consequences?
We encourage all residents to attend the September 7, 2012 noon meeting of the library trustees, albeit a meeting that is held at an inconvenient time for most people. We will be there and videotaping.