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09.12.18 - Special EB Meeting Minutes

SPECIAL EXECUTIVE BOARD MINUTES

BERGEN COUNTY COOPERATIVE LIBRARY SYSTEM

Franklin Lakes Public Library

September 12, 2018

 

 

PRESIDING:                 Kurt Hadeler                              Mahwah

 

PRESENT:                    Cindy Czesak                            BCCLS

Stephanie Bellucci                     Cliffside Park

Christine Hartigan                      East Rutherford

Gerry McMahon                        Franklin Lakes

Jennifer Breuer                          Glen Ridge

Mimi Hui                                   Hasbrouck Heights

Matthew Latham                        Leonia

Judy Nelson                              Roseland

Samantha McCoy                      West Caldwell

 

NOT PRESENT:            Ruth Springer                            Garfield

                                       Sai Rao                                    North Bergen

 

ALSO PRESENT:         Darlene Swistock                      Recorder of Minutes

 

GUESTS:                      Patricia Durso                           Allendale

Eric Lozauskas                          BCCLS

Chelsea Coleman                      Bogota

Ellen O’Keefe                            Glen Rock

Monica Smith                            Hawthorne

Gretchen Kaser                         Upper Saddle River

Amy Babcock-Landry                Livingston

Peter Coyl                                Montclair

Terrie McColl                            New Milford

Susan Kumar                            Palisades Park

Leonard LoPinto                       Paramus

Thomas Madru                          Park Ridge (Trustee)

Kathleen McGrail                       Upper Saddle River

Laura Leonard                           Wyckoff 

 

1.  Call to Order

Kurt Hadeler called the meeting to order at 9:35 am.  The original purpose of this special meeting was to discuss the Delivery Task Force’s recommendation and introduce it to System Council later this month.  The By-Laws Committee recommended changes was also added to the agenda.  Prior to the meeting, Samantha McCoy asked that the agenda be amended to include a brief discussion about eBCCLS ordering. 

 

2.  Public Portion

Susan Kumar commended Stephanie Bellucci for her work on the Delivery Task Force.  Kurt Hadeler announced that Mimi Hui has been asked to join the LLNJ Advocacy Task Force.  Mimi Hui thought it was important for BCCLS to have a presence with LLNJ; BCCLS still needs services from LLNJ and it is important to hear information directly from LLNJ.  She mentioned that LLNJ will be sending out a survey to the membership to see if LLNJ services are still viable to them, and they will also be hosting a virtual town hall on September 18; Amy Babcock-Landry noted that it conflicts with the NJLA Executive Board meeting.  Kurt Hadeler explained that LLNJ is trying to build advocacy support as it will cease to exist by June 30, 2019 if funding does not improve.  

 

3.  Delivery Task Force - Recommendation

Stephanie Bellucci, chair, thanked the 11 members of the task force for their efforts and then provided a recap of their activities. 

     -   Created Delivery Digest

     -   Issued RFP

     -   Conducted mandatory bidders conference call:  6 vendors on call and 4 submitted proposals (1 submitted late and disqualified)

     -   Visited Ramapo-Catskill Library System’s delivery service and modeled the plan on their experiences

     -   Recommendation is to manage delivery internally with our own drivers, vans

     -   Biggest advantage is maintaining control of the process:  forward sorting, regional picklists, building keys/codes and the ability to be informed via listservs

     -   Cost would be divided equally among all libraries 

  • Kurt Hadeler originally thought a contractor should handle delivery for BCCLS during the first year and then BCCLS should handle it on their own which would allow a smooth transition.  He changed his mind for the following reasons:  drivers would be BCCLS employees, have consistent routes, have an extra driver and van as a back-up or to cover an extra route, no vendors would forward sort on their vans and the internal delivery cost would be the same as hiring a vendor making it difficult to begin in-house delivery at a later date. 
  • Jennifer Breuer asked about cons (hiring/managing own staff and initial start-up costs) and how the warehouse size of 6,500 sf was decided.  (It was based on the dimensions of the number of vans needed.)
  • Susan Kumar asked how Jersey Cat items would be handled.  (They would be delivered to the BCCLS warehouse.)
  • Kathleen McGrail asked if the drivers would forward sort on their vans (yes) and would delivery slips still be needed.  (A modified in-transit slip would indicate the route/stop on it).  Will the drivers need to be commercially licensed?  (No, the proposed vans do not have commercial restrictions.)
  • Terrie McColl explained that bins in the vans are used for forward sorting as well as for the other routes.
  • Kurt Hadeler advised that RCLS serves 47 libraries with 53 stops over 2,500 square miles, the name is discreet on the vans, the bins stack and lock so they do not move around and their drivers are typically on the road between 7:30 am -3:00 pm and then sort from 3:00-4:00 pm so they are ready to go out the next morning. 
  • Leonard LoPinto asked who will organize the delivery process, purchase the vans, determine the routes, etc.  He feels an expert in transportation is needed. 
  • Kurt Hadeler explained that RCLS offered their assistance.  The first hire would be a Delivery Coordinator and the Delivery Task Force would also help.
  • Ellen O’Keefe noted that this plan is transitional.
  • Samantha McCoy was concerned that the recommendation is not a business plan, it doubles the number of personnel in the BCCLS office and that some of the expenses for personnel, insurance and van customization are understated. 
  • Cindy Czesak was asked about Dave Hanson’s approach to the delivery situation.  (Once a decision is made, he said he will focus on implementation to get it done.)
  • Stephanie Bellucci talked about the financial concerns with outside vendors: the fuel surcharge billed monthly is unpredictable.  There is no cap and the difference is added to the per stop cost.  If BCCLS contracted with a vendor and then decided to manage delivery on its own, the membership would be paying overlapping delivery costs.
  • Kurt Hadeler commented that half of the membership had problems with one of the potential vendors and half of the membership had problems with another potential vendor. 
  • Jennifer Breuer was concerned that the cost might exceed the estimated $7,291 per library.  (The estimates are realistic and they were not rounded up or padded.)  She also asked if the drivers will incur tolls on their routes (not expected) and how lost and damaged items in transit will be treated (cost of doing business, but RCLS has minimal lost and damaged items).
  • Christine Hartigan asked about the need for part-time help.  (They will cover routes when full-time drivers are out and they will not receive benefits.)
  • Samantha McCoy pointed out that the cost for insurance and FICA may add about $200 to the original estimate of $7,291 per library.
  • Leonard LoPinto asked about the cost of delivery at the expense of other local services.  Paramus patrons are happy with 3-5 day delivery and do not expect overnight delivery.  He is concerned that hidden costs will increase the revised estimated cost of $7,500 per library.
  • Amy Babcock-Landry commented that Livingston patrons are not happy with delivery turnaround and will buy on Amazon rather than wait.  She asked about the cost for insurance for the vans.  (The cost for insurance for the BCCLS vans was used as a guide.)
  • Laura Leonard noted that 3-5 day delivery is also not acceptable to Wyckoff patrons.  She asked about funding and if the extra amount that BCCLS pays to ensure that all libraries have 5-day delivery was factored in?  She also asked if the Bergen County grant money could be used to offset delivery.  (Yes.  Kurt Hadeler suggested conducting Small Group Meetings in early 2019 to discuss better ways to use the grant money.)
  • Kurt Hadeler detailed the anticipated timeline:  hire Delivery Coordinator, finance a van, and then the DC would work with the BCCLS office to develop the routes and then hire drivers. LLNJ would still be used until June 30, 2019 and BCCLS would pay the bill of $38,000-$39,000 (for Jan-Jun 2019) so libraries would not need to pay LLNJ and their share for internal delivery. 
  • Susan Kumar commented that the Bergen County grant cannot be used for libraries outside of Bergen County and that her board is very concerned about the relative means of other libraries and their ability to pay.
  • Kurt Hadeler explained that the current billing formula addresses the 1/3 mill differences and that libraries funded at lower 1/3 mill rates should not expect to pay less for delivery.  They may be a net borrower or return a higher volume of items that stress the delivery service more than other libraries.
  • Leonard LoPinto asked if the cost for delivery could be reduced if libraries did not receive 5-day delivery.  (If delivery was reduced, items would pile up in the warehouse or at libraries, and larger vans or additional routes/drivers potentially would be needed to handle the increased volume so there would not be a cost savings.)
  • Peter Coyl asked what happens if the membership does not approve handling delivery internally and LLNJ ceases to exist?  Kurt Hadeler advised that options are limited as libraries joined BCCLS to take advantage of resource sharing and easy access to items in the catalog.  He calculated that, if Mahwah sent a driver to the BCCLS warehouse to drop off, sort and pick up its own items, it would cost approximately $14,000/year.  There really is no other viable long-term solution.
  • Kathleen McGrail stated that BCCLS cannot count on any money from the state.  If BCCLS takes over its own delivery on January 1, it saves LLNJ and benefits all of the other libraries in the state at a financial burden to BCCLS.
  • Cindy Czesak advised that BCCLS can opt out of delivery and still be a member of LLNJ.  BCCLS needs to do what is best for BCCLS and then look for reimbursement afterward.
  • Ellen O’Keefe pointed out that BCCLS has been a heavy user of delivery.  County systems have a depot stop and then handle internal deliveries on their own.  Ocean County has a county tax which helps.
  • Kurt Hadeler expressed concern about the uncertainty of LLNJ and Mimi Hui noted that discussions have started via the town halls.  LLNJ, the State Library and NJLA have different agendas; LLNJ does not appear to be a priority to the State Library. 
  • Amy Babcock-Landry also said that BCCLS needs to focus on the best distribution of our materials and Christine Hartigan agreed that BCCLS needs to do what is best for BCCLS; if others benefit, so be it. 
  • Mimi Hui noted that there will be a webinar about delivery for directors, but what about trustees?  (Trustees can also watch the webinar on Thursday, September 20 at 10:00 am; it will also be recorded so trustees can watch it at their convenience.)
  • Jennifer Breuer asked what happens if the estimated cost of delivery is exceeded.  (It will be divided among the libraries and 2019 is a ramp-up year.  The cost estimate is for a full year, but the actual cost will be lower as BCCLS will not be handling its own delivery for the full year.)
  • Samantha McCoy asked how libraries will be billed.  (It will be a part of the BCCLS quarterly bills) and suggested that it be explained to the membership.
  • Leonard LoPinto asked if the membership will be voting for an addendum and then will hire the Delivery Coordinator this year.  (Yes.)
  • Matthew Latham asked if the bill from LLNJ (approximately $38,000) could increase.  (It seems realistic, and LLNJ will be asking libraries if they are interested in delivery.)  He also asked about the start-up costs to be paid in 2018.  (Kurt Hadeler advised that they can be taken from the surplus in the budget if approved by the membership.)  Samantha McCoy noted that after expenses for the delivery bins ($140,000), office furniture ($65,000), new office security deposit ($20,000) and move ($45,000), there is about $175,000-$200,000 cushion remaining. 
  • Kurt Hadeler explained that the original preferred bins had a flip top, but now the preferred bins are the bins used by RCLS which stack/lock, are customized to fit in the vans and so materials can be stacked.  They are custom made, cost about $100 each and there is no state contract. 
  • Judy Nelson asked about training for the part-time drivers (allow 2 weeks).  Cindy Czesak explained that they are like substitute teachers and Kurt Hadeler likened it to the job pool list.  She asked if there would be an additional administrative cost for payroll (yes).
  • Leonard LoPinto restated his concern about the cost and that a transportation expert should review the figures.
  • Kurt Hadeler explained that RCLS will provide assistance if the proposal is approved at System Council.  

It was MOVED BY:  Stephanie Bellucci               Seconded by:  Christine Hartigan

to accept the recommendation of the Delivery Task force to handle delivery in-house (hire drivers, finance the vans, rent warehouse space) and not hire a contractor.  8 in favor, 1 opposed (Samantha McCoy), no abstentions.  Motion carried.  It will be introduced as an amendment at System Council in September. 

Kurt Hadeler thanked Stephanie Bellucci and the task force for their yeoman’s work for the past 8-9 months.  The recommendation will be introduced at System Council informally on September 27 and then it will require a super majority (2/3 of the members present) at System Council on October 25.  

 

4.  By-Laws Committee – Recommended Changes

Gerry McMahon, chair, reviewed the recommended changes to BCCLS’ by-laws which were previously distributed.  Susan Kumar asked what constitutes an emergency (delivery this year and the unexpected $160,000 deficit with Hoopla last year are examples).   The committee will also be reviewing the by-laws for minor changes/corrections (e.g. font changes, typos, grammatical corrections and general clean-up) that do not affect the wording of the by-laws themselves.  Patricia Durso was surprised that it was necessary to indicate that the salary survey should be completed accurately.  

It was MOVED BY:  Samantha McCoy                Seconded by:  Jennifer Breuer

to accept the recommended changes of the By-Laws Committee and introduce them at System Council in September.  All in favor.  Motion carried.

  

5.  eBCCLS Ordering

Samantha McCoy and Kathleen McGrail reviewed various reports and noted that only Advantage Plus libraries have been purchasing eContent and that they were unaware that purchasing had been suspended for 8 weeks due to a billing discrepancy.  Cindy Czesak said she will come up with a new plan going forward and will let them know.  BCCLS does not know how much Advantage Plus libraries have spent and will ask those libraries to self report.  Samantha McCoy also wants to be able to loan West Caldwell’s collection to patrons with pay, courtesy and institutional cards and asked about resurrecting the eBCCLS Task Force.

 

6.  Membership Hearing 

None

 

7.  Next Meeting                System Council:  Thu 9/27 @ 9:30 am –  Washington Township

                                           System Council:  Thu 10/25 @ 9:30 am – Franklin Lakes

                                           Executive Board: Thu 10/25 – after SC –  Franklin Lakes

 

The Delivery Task Force will host a webinar on Thu 9/20 to review their recommendation to handle delivery in-house; board members are invited to participate.  The recommendation will be introduced at System Council on 9/27 with a vote on the addendum at System Council on 10/25.  Everyone is encouraged to read the Delivery Digest created by the Delivery Task Force.  

Leonard LoPinto asked if there will be a webinar to explain the budget and Kurt Hadeler replied there could be one in October.  Samantha McCoy commented about the great narrative that accompanied the budget for the past 1-2 years; the 2019 initial budget and narrative should be coming in about a week.  Leonard LoPinto suggested that directors ask questions ahead of time and not wait until System Council. 

 

8.  Adjournment   

It was MOVED by:  Jennifer Breuer                                 Seconded by:  Mimi Hui

to adjourn at 11:33 am.

Unanimously approved.

 

 

dms:  9/13/18

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