Library Board of Trustees met to fill vacancies
July 1, 2021
WAITSBURG — The Weller Library Board of Trustees met on June 23 at the Weller Library in Waitsburg. The three current board members, Jim Leid, Becky Huwe, and Elenora Montgomery, were in attendance. Librarian Rosie Warehime, Lane Gwinn, and Terry Lawhead were also at the meeting.
The city’s proposal to surplus the current building and move the library to a new location was discussed by the board. There was confusion over Mayor Dunn’s explanation for removing the item from the city council’s agenda in June. Montgomery said the board has the power to decide whether the library moves or stays. At the council meeting, Dunn said the city only pays the librarian’s salary, the advisory committee is the librarian’s boss. The city owns the building, and the committee runs the activities of the library. He did not address how this breakdown of responsibility affects the surplus issue.
The board discussed its response to the council regarding the building. It was decided that the committee president, Jim Leid, would write the letter to the mayor and council before the next city council meeting. It was a unanimous decision between the members that they want the library to stay in the historic Weller building. They would ask for more guidance from the city on the cost to make ADA changes to the building. Members felt that the conceptual plan done for the Weller Public Library was too ambitious in its scope. They were interested in what a more limited approach would cost.
Three applications for the vacant seats were reviewed and approved for recommendation to the council.
A joint public meeting of the Library Board of Trustees and The Friends of the Weller Library was held Wednesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at the Weller Library.
Correction: The article that appeared in the July 1 print edition referred to the Library Board of Trustees as the Library Advisory Committee. The Waitsburg Municipal Code, establishes the city's public library, Library Board of Trustees, and the Library Advisory Committee. Under Title 5, Chapter 1, the Board of Trustees is vested with the management and control of the library. The Library Advisory Committee was established under Title 2, Chapter 7, to serve in an advisory role only.
In response to a question submitted to the city by Lisa Winnett on behalf of The Friends of the Weller Library on July, 1, City Administrator Randy Hinchliffe stated "the Board of Trustees and the Advisory Committee are interchangeable." However, under WMCode these are two distinct groups with distinct descriptions and responsibilities. Though both advise the council, the Board is not advisory only.
The Friends of the Weller Library is a non-government, non-profit organization that raises funds to purchase equipment, materials and books for the library. They have no authority over the management or facilities.