Lack of quorum hinders library board action

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Feature Writer

TELL CITY – There wasn’t too much the Perry County Public Library Board could do during their regular meeting Sept. 5. Not because there was no business to discuss, but because there were simply not enough board members present to vote on business.

According to Library Director John Mundy, the board of trustees bylaws state, “A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority, which is equal to 50 percent of the seats established by law plus one, regardless of any current vacancies on a library’s board.”

At the Sept. 5 meeting, only six of the 11 board members were in attendance, which left the board one short of the number needed. Three board members not present informed members in the August meeting they would not be attending due to conflicts, but the concern seemed to be about board member David Carney.

“He informed me he wanted to get off the board,” Board President Mickey Fischer told board members during the meeting discussion. She wasn’t sure how to tell Carney to proceed from that point.

Mundy said, however, that Carney would have to inform the body that appointed him he wished to resign from the position and added he would contact Carney after the Sept. 5 meeting to discuss the issue.

“Our bylaws state if you miss four consecutive meetings, for any cause other than illness, it’s consider a resignation. I checked with the state and we’re not allowed to have laws that are more strict than the state law. The state law is six (consecutive) absences,” he explained to board members.

Because of the lack of the majority, many items on the agenda for the Sept. 5 meeting had to be tabled.

Fischer urged board members present to review the information they had and be sure to have the papers with them at the October meeting to review the business then.

Board members did discuss several items, however. Mundy told members the 10-year celebration for the Tell City branch had been set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 22. Staff will have a history wall displayed, decorations set up, games for children, refreshments and more. Invitations will also be sent to former board members and staff, Mundy said. The public is encouraged to attend to celebrate the anniversary, to meet Mundy and to tour the new bookmobile.

The director also informed members Kim Embry and Debbie Vaals were hired to fill a position at the Cannelton branch left open after the death of Irene Lawalin.

Embry will take 10 hours per week and Vaals will clock in the remaining four hours open.

Mundy said Cannelton branch staff will also begin to take a survey of the busiest times at the branch. This will help him to decide what times would be best to have the library open, he explained.

Continuing on with the subject of Cannelton, the Friends of the Perry County Public Library informed Mundy they would sponsor a book sale at the Cannelton Heritage Fest in October.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the sale can drop off items at either the Cannelton or Tell City branches. Look for more information on sale dates in a coming issue of The News.

The board also touched on some issues with the new bookmobile. There have been some troubles, according to bookmobile librarian Brandi Sanders, which started with the air compressor in the vehicle.

“The air compressor was filling with fluid, because apparently in northern Ohio where they built it, they don’t have humidity like we have down here. They were supposed to put a drier on it but it wasn’t in our specs,” Sanders explained, adding a drier had to be installed.

The part was covered in the warranty of the vehicle, Mundy added. The other issue came about as the new part was being installed.

“Someone hit and ran the bookmobile in the parking lot at Tim Holtzman’s,” Sanders explained. “It scraped an area down the side about (a foot) big, pulled one section of the bumper out … it was a big, big truck.”

“We made a police report and told the insurance company,” Mundy added.

The next meeting of the board will begin at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3.