Library board election ballot set

library HZTIt’s official. Interim Library Director Jessica Kerr has verified petitions for the five candidates running for the September 3 election to fill four seats on the Board of Trustees.

Incumbent Katryna Barber is running for re-election to the board and Jill Fisher is running for election to her first full term after being appointed in June to replace Geoffrey Hanowitz, who resigned in May. Though Hanowitz would not have been up for re-election, the board by-laws require appointed replacements to run in the next election if they want to stay on the board.

President Stuart Auchincloss recently announced he won’t seek another term, freeing up a third seat. Trustee Kathleen Lee resigned last month, opening the fourth seat to election. Lee has missed several meetings due to health issues.


Also running are John Ludwig, George Finsrud and Selma Kaplan.

Ludwig, who began attending meetings last spring as a vocal opponent of a proposed annex on the site of the former Library Laundromat, now sits on the library’s Outreach Committee. He advocates more transparency as the library plans for future expansion.

Finsrud, also a new member of the committee, is making his first run for the board, as is Kaplan.

The ballot order, chosen at random is Finsrud, Ludwig, Kaplan, Fisher and Barber.

Voters will also decide on a budget of $627,868.96, an increase of 6.89 percent.

The tax levy of $549,187.96 is an increase of 2 percent.

The budget increase will maintain current operations, but will not include additional services. The addition of a part-time page in the budget will help maintain staffing levels, which haven’t changed in six years despite library visits increasing 14 percent and circulation increasing 29 percent since 2009, according to Kerr.


Overriding the cap

The board at a special meeting last month voted to override the state tax cap. This is a pre-emptive move and is necessary because the budget must be prepared for ballot before the state enacts the cap.

The cap on tax increases is 2 percent or current inflation, whichever is lower. In recent years, it has been close to 2 percent, but state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently predicted the cap could be around 0.73 percent for the 2016 budget season. Boards can override the cap with a supermajority, or 60 percent vote. In the library’s case, that is 6 of the 10 sitting members.