Referendum, new director on SG library’s horizon?

By on November 18, 2011

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Library District residents may need to be prepared for more change in the future: a new library referendum may be coming, as well as the beginning of a search for a new library director.

Board reviews
library finances

Sugar Grove Public Library Board Treasurer Dan Herkes predicted an approximate shortfall of $45,000 for the library during the 2011-12 fiscal year, and that is even after getting creative with how to manage the library’s finances.

“We’re trying to run a library here. We’re not trying to run a closed building. We don’t want to close the library. We want to keep it open. Now, how we do this-how we pay for this now-is going to be creative. Fortunately, I am in a creative mood right now,” Herkes said.

He said that the library’s expenditures will increase by nearly $79,000 in the coming fiscal year, from $557,097 to $635,782. To raise revenues to help offset the increase in expenses, Herkes suggested that the library could utilize $12,000 from a special reserve fund that currently holds $90,000. In addition, the board could add $25,000 in revenue to the fiscal year by liquidating an additional $75,000 fund over three years. That $25,000 would be earmarked to the library’s collection, which in turn would draw money into the library’s operating fund, helping off-set the overall expenditure increase.

Creative financial work aside, that still leaves an approximate $45,000 shortfall for the fiscal, he said, leading to his view that the Library District must attempt to pass an operating fund referendum.

“It’s imperative that the Sugar Grove Library District pass a referendum. I’m sorry; we don’t have any choice,” he said.

“Being creative without the help of the community is going to be very difficult,” Trustee Anthony Oliver said.

Board approves search
for full-time library director

The Library Board voted 6-1 to approve the search for a new library director, which will be conducted by the firm Alice Calabrese-Berry.

Oliver was the lone vote against hiring a search firm.

The approval for the search came two weeks after the board voted to reverse its decision to mediate with former director Beverly Holmes Hughes. The board had previously voted in favor of mediation with Hughes at its meeting on Oct. 13.

Board President Joan Roth, Vice President Art Morrical, and trustees Bob Bergman and Julie Wilson—the board members responsible for firing Holmes Hughes four months ago—voted in favor of reversing the decision to mediate.

Timeline of Sugar Grove Library

• July 14: Board votes 4-2 in favor of
firing director Beverly Holmes
Hughes. Arlene Kaspik hired as
interim director.

• Mid-August: Kaspik resigns

• Aug. 25: Board introduces interim
Director Marilyn Boria and issues
press release stating its reasons for
firing Holmes Hughes.

• Sept. 8: Board approves
appointment of Anthony Oliver as
board trustee

• Oct. 13: Board rules 4-3 in favor of
mediation with Holmes Hughes

• Oct. 27: Board votes 4-3 in favor of
no mediation with Holmes Hughes

• Nov. 10: Board votes 6-1 to
approve search for new library