While Mr. Evans may want to make everyone believe that the budget was unanimously approved by the Budget Committee, we have a different take on the situation. Some members of the Budget Committee were led "up the garden path" believing that more discussion would follow prior to the final adoption of the budget.
We can't help but wonder...if the object was to include input from the Budget Committee for the preparation of the budget, why weren't members of that committee invited to sit down with Mr. Evans, Earl Cunningham and library employees as they put the budget together supposedly using historical data? Why was everyone else on the Budget Committee excluded from seeing this so-called "historical data"? Who was REALLY driving this bus??
After the first meeting of the Budget Committee, Mr. Cunningham refused to attend further meetings, going so far as to say that he resigned from the committee. He sure didn't miss the last meeting of the committee held on November 28th; oddly, neither did Ms. Stephens and Ms. DuRoss. They must have been there for moral support, we suppose.
Mr. Evans' opening words at the November 28, 2012 Budget Committee Meeting were, "I have to leave by 8 o'clock." Less than an hour from the time the meeting started. Doesn't sound like someone who wanted to discuss anything other than the budget he proposed. He never made time for discussion of Mr. Wiatr's budget that included re-opening the library on Wednesdays and NOT closing early on Mondays and Tuesdays.
At this point, perhaps we are skeptical because it is rumored that the library "elite" are planning on going back to the public for another attempt at becoming either a legislative or a school district library. First, however, they apparently want to make it as difficult as possible for people who work to make use of the library by closing early the only days that the library is open past 6:00 p.m. With circulation data declining 60% this year over last year, one would think they would do everything to encourage everyone to use the library. But that does not appear to be the case.
Contrary to Ms. Romano's assertion that meetings are held at noon to accommodate the public, email page 61 of 466 sure sounds like the library meetings are held at noon to accommodate the needs of Board President Linda Romano.
From page 61 of 466 FOILed emails (note the use of emails to conduct a Nominating Committee meeting that is supposed to be open to the public); the email of Dr. Susan Blatt to Mary DuRoss and Connie Stephens says:
Would Linda be likely to want the presidency if we stick with noon meetings?Currently, meeting times alternate between noon and 7 p.m., although recently most of the meetings have been held at noon. Ms. Romano often likes to proclaim that the meetings are scheduled that way because some residents can only make night meetings and some residents can only make noon meetings...it's all for you my dears!
Truth is, prior to the town naming Mr. Wiatr [who just happens to have a full-time job in Rome] to the library board, the meetings were always held at 7:00 p.m. in the evening.
Here is the unedited version of the December 4, 2012 Special Meeting of the New Hartford Public Library called for a vote on the adoption of Mr. Evan's budget.
Oh, by the way, we now are in possession of 491 additional FOILed emails from Ms. Romano and Ms. DuRoss. They are a real "treasure trove" of information. We will be incorporating them into our blogs. Wait until we uncover some of the "behind-the-scenes" goings on.