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02.02.17 - Trustee Development Committee - Minutes

MINUTES

TRUSTEE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2017 - 2:00 PM

WEST ORANGE PUBLIC LIBRARY

 

ATTENDING

Dave Cubie (co-chair and Director, West Orange) and Tom Madru (co-chair and Trustee, Park Ridge), Patty Durso (Executive Administrator, Allendale), Larry Bergmann (Trustee, Livingston), Peter Wendrychowicz (Trustee, Mahwah), Mike Banick (Director, Millburn), Lynn Kloss (Friends, Teaneck) and Darlene Swistock (Liaison, BCCLS).

 

WELCOME

Dave and Tom welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Trustee Development Committee.

 

INTRODUCTIONS

The 8 members of the committee, listed above, introduced themselves.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JOHNSON BILL – A1427/S2633

Dave and Tom provided a handout about the Johnson Bill which lets towns increase their 1/3 mill funding by referendum.  They also provided a print out of the bill itself.  They feel it has a good chance of passing because funds are not diverted from the budget and are outside the cap; it would be dedicated library funding.  If the referendum is defeated, there is a 3-year waiting period before it can be presented again.

 

CONFERENCE CALL WITH JOHN CHRASTKA OF EVERYLIBRARY

Dave and Tom arranged a conference call for the committee with John Chrastka and a detailed and lengthy call took place during the meeting.  Some highlights include:

EveryLibrary, a 501c4, was established in 2012 and has 2 full-time employees (including John) and 4 part-time employees nationwide.  Their role is to help libraries create a path to the ballot for the referendum.  This includes an early political assessment, polls, survey and focus groups.  They provide training to the library staff, orientation and a vision to create a “Yes Committee” that is registered as the local lobbyist.  They have won 45 of 60 elections nationwide, including Northvale, the only library they worked with in NJ.  Lead-time is 18-24 months in advance of the election and they spend about 40-60 hours in direct contact with the library staff and board.  They oversee, rather than provide day-to-day management.  They offer training and coaching 24/7 and one in-person library visit.  They request reimbursement of travel expenses if the library is able to do so. 

Trustee training would include a basic orientation of the new provisions of the Johnson Bill and a political assessment of the community, services and taxes; a “power map” of the community.  This would be part of a 6-hour workshop to determine how the community wants to tax themselves and what work is involved before the Yes Committee approaches the town residents.  The Friends Group cannot run the Yes Committee because of the caps on expenditures and staff volunteers.  John will put together a brief outline of a proposed program with a cost estimate in about a week.  If he was to work with the BCCLS organization, he would propose some consulting fee arrangements.  Work with individual libraries is pro bono.  

After the conference call ended, the committee talked about possibly trying to have a “standard” program with some customization for each library.  This would be a BCCLS initiative for our libraries and a NJLTA initiative for non-BCCLS libraries.

It was also suggested that BCCLS ask the Directors to let their trustees know that they need to write to their legislators about the Johnson Bill.  The committee will create a template and related information that the trustees can use. 

If approved, the funding is good for 10 years after approval or until a new funding rate is approved.  It is an option without obligation as individual member towns are not required to proceed with a referendum if it is not wanted or needed.

 

COMMITTEE GOALS

Everyone agreed that this will be the goal for 2017 since this initiative is so big and so important.  The 3 charges that were given to the committee align with this goal.

 

NEXT MEETING

Thursday, March 2 @ 1:00 pm at the Mahwah Public Library. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 3:35 pm.

 

dms:  2/2/17

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