Carnegie withholds $2,500 monthly contribution to library
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An auditor says Andrew Carnegie Free Library has about $7,000 in its bank account, but library officials say the facility is operating smoothly even without Carnegie's $2,500 monthly contribution.
Auditor Steve Mazur told the library's board of trustees last week he didn't know how its bank account balance compared with last year's.
"Most nonprofits are living close to the vest," Mr. Mazur added, noting that at the end of 2010, the library showed $390,000 in operating expenses and $4.7 million in assets.
Library and borough officials have been at odds for months over a series of leadership changes at the library. As a result, the borough has withheld its $2,500 monthly contribution since April. Despite the low bank balance, library officials say all is well.
"We're meeting expenses, and there's nothing out of the ordinary. We're getting by," trustees President Chris Brussalis said.
Board treasurer Steve Tassaro said the library is "projected to be fine for the next couple of months."
In addition to staff turnover, another point of contention has been a change in board of trustees bylaws in 2008 that took away voting privileges from the borough's members. They are now ex-officio members who can't vote.
"I personally don't understand under what authority this board changed the bylaws," former trustee Glenn Walsh said.
"The dynamics change," Mr. Brussalis said, adding the bylaws provide for such alterations. Executive Director Lois Wholey suggested forming a committee to go over the bylaws. Amy Philips-Haller of Scott promptly volunteered to serve on that committee.
But Marjorie O'Brien of Rosslyn Farms countered, "If you can change the bylaws at will, what good are they?"
Trustees said they plan to fill the remaining five seats on the library board, which can include 12 members.
And while the board and library may have differences, helping kids isn't one of them. At the borough's workshop meeting Monday, council indicated it was interested in giving the library $5,000 to pay for its summer Math4U program.
Meanwhile, the 101-year-old building's music hall will be busy this summer with a variety of entertainment, including Stage 62's production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in July. The Sean Jones Quintet will be featured at the library's annual fundraising event Sept. 29.
For more information see www.carnegiecarnegie.org.
The library also may sponsor a "Black Tie Bingo" this year, courtesy of Nevillewood Neighbors, a Collier homeowners' association that has chosen the library as its charity, Ms. Wholey said.
First Published June 7, 2012 5:30 am