Library Board candidates in separate races

By on April 2, 2009

2 of 3 seats are contested
by Susan O’Neill
There are three open positions on the Library Board. One candidate, Art Morrical, is running unopposed for the six-year term; three candidates are running for the two-year term; and two candidates are running for the four-year term.

The budget that the winners of these races will inherit will depend on whether or not the library referendum, also on this ballot, passes. Many of the candidates agree that they would like to bring back at least some of the programming the library cut at the beginning of 2007 after the fall 2006 referendum failed.

However, how much the board will be able to accomplish when the library moves into the new building this year will be affected by the referendum’s passing or failure.

Two Sugar Grove individuals are running for the full four-year term on the Sugar Grove Public Library Board: Sabrina Malano, appointed to fill an open seat in May 2008, and challenger Joan Roth.

Sabrina Malano

Malano said she is running for the position because she wanted more local input on decisions on how the funds for the new library are spent. Having served on the board during the past year, she said she has helped make responsible decisions on how to spend the building fund money. She said the project is currently under budget.

She said her financial background will be an asset to the board, as well as her marketing expertise. She said she could do the marketing for the library rather than pay someone external to do it.

Malano said the residents want more library hours available to them. However, she said that decision and the ability to add programs will depend on the results of the referendum. She hopes the residents come to realize that, especially within the current economy, they are getting a good deal with the services of the library.

“There is no bigger bang for your buck than a library,” she said.

She said the library has done a terrific job with the budget it has and she wants to continue to offer what it can. The children’s programs will continue, no matter what happens.

Her goals would include a continued responsible handling of the money approved in 2004. Many of the other decisions will depend on the referendum, Malano said. She would like to make the library a focal point of the community and have it work more closely with the school.

Joan Roth
Roth is running because she wants to see library programs reinstated. She would like to get the community more involved with the library, and make the public more aware of what it has to offer. She would also like to see more volunteer-run programs, which she feels will be more feasible with the additional space in the new library building.

She said her background as a classroom teacher and a department chair for social studies has given her leadership and management experience. She said she is a good listener and a frugal person who wants people to get as much value for their money as they can.

With the building referendum passed but not the referendum providing an increase in operating funds, the challenge for the board will be to find additional funds through grants, volunteer-led programs and other means of supplementing the budget. Her goals would include educating people on why libraries are still essential, even with the availability of the Internet.

“You can’t believe everything you read online,” she said.

She wants to let people know there is more to a library than just reading a book; they can obtain music, videos and more. She thinks the café will be a drawing card for the library and hopes that people will realize what a value the library is for the community, especially during these economic times.

“If I had to go out and buy books, I couldn’t afford to read,” she said.

Three candidates are competing for the two-year term position on the board. Library Friends Tina Cella and Bill Wulff are running against Julie Wilson, who was appointed to fill an empty spot on the board in July 2008.

Christina (Tina) Cella
Cella said she is running because the Library Board needs someone who understands the responsibilities of a board. She said the current board has missed an opportunity by not participating in helping to pass the referendum. Cella has put in many hours helping with communications for previous referendum attempts, she said.

As a consultant, she has worked with nonprofit boards to help them build strong boards and coach them on how to run board meetings, obtain participation and develop strategic plans.

Cella said the Library District’s top issues are funding, people’s perception of the library and what it is capable of doing for the community. She said she feels the board was misdirected in its tactic of cutting programs and that the measure devalued the library in the eyes of the community.

Cella said she hopes helping to pass the referendum will be something she does not have to address, but it might be. Her other goals are to help obtain recognition for the library within the community for the positive force it could and should be in Sugar Grove.

She wants a more formalized relationship with the schools, in which they can share faculty, staff, books and resources. She would like the library to help students with after-school projects, work with teachers and provide more programs for adults and seniors.

“I am very determined,” she said. “When I set my mind on something, I usually get it done.”

Julie Wilson
Wilson said she is running not because she is a politician, but an interested community advocate. The library was an important part of her childhood, and she said it is as important as any other educational program. She said every community should be so lucky to have one.

Wilson said her past experience and jobs have given her the opportunity to work with people of all ages. As a church secretary and through her involvement with the Sunday school program, she worked with both young and more mature people. Through the Kaneland schools, she helped out with the science program, working with teachers and students.

Wilson said the library’s top issues include the lack of hours of operation and programs since the referendum failed. She said she would like to be a voice for the young as well as to help bring back programs for seniors. She said the library staff should be encouraged to continue their education to help move the library forward in all areas, including technology.

Her top goals are to bring back and establish additional programs, encourage more community involvement with something for all ages, and to support the staff and the director. She said even with the cuts in hours, the staff continues to offer residents all the opportunities they can with limited hours and funding.

“With our economy, it’s a great place to go,” she said.

She said she feels the library is a real asset to a community, providing education when school is not in session and helping to bring growth to the community.

Bill Wulff
Wulff said he is running because the open spot provides an opportunity for him to contribute and have an impact. He said he wants to continue and build on what the present board members have accomplished.

Wulff said the experience and background he would bring to the board has nothing to do with a “library title.”

“Who really has library experience?” he said.

He said he is mature and qualified and wants to help build for the future.

He said he would have to listen to the people in the district to see what they want before setting specific goals, although he said the library should bring back some adult programs.

His goal would be to make sure the board accounts to the citizens for everything they give the district, to return to them more than it receives.

Library—four-year term
Sabrina Malano

• Birthplace: Chicago
• 1.5 years in Sugar Grove
• Occupation: Administrative role with the
Mid-America Financial Group; previously
was a financial representative
• Education: B.A. Marketing
• Family: Married; eight-month-old son
• Community involvement: Chair, sponsorship
committee, Sugar Grove Chamber of
Commerce and Industry; Communications
Committee member, Windsor Pointe HOA;
Chair, opening ceremony, Sugar Grove Corn
Boil 2008, 2009; appointed to fill Library
Board opening May 2008

Joan Roth
• Birthplace: Aurora
• 7 years in Sugar Grove
• Occupation: Retired 8th grade U.S. History
teacher, Aurora West High School
• Family: “I’m the last of my family; my
great-grandfather lived here.”
• Community involvement: Aurora Friends
Library Board; Sugar Grove and Elburn
Library foundations

Library—two-year term
Christina (Tina) Cella

• Birthplace: Bryn Mawr, Penn.
• 5 years in Sugar Grove
• Occupation: Retired marketing and strategic
planning consultant for small businesses and
• Education: B.S. in secondary education,
English concentration, MBA, technical and
e-communication concentration
• Family: Married, three adult children,
one grandchild
• Community involvement: Marketing chair,
Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and
Industry; Vice President, Sugar Grove
Library Friends; Farmer’s Market volunteer;
Chair, communications committee, Windsor
Pointe HOA

Julie Wilson

• Birthplace: Peoria, Ill.
• 18 years in Sugar Grove
• Occupation: Kaneland school bus driver,
former church secretary
• Education: Associate degree, medical
office assistant
• Family: Married, two daughters, one
• Community involvement: Advocate for
Farmer’s Market, Kaneland John Shields
Parent Teacher Organization member, VP,
Girl Scout leader,
• Appointed to fill open spot on Library Board
July 2008

William Wulff

• Birthplace: Aurora
• 16 years in Sugar Grove/Prestbury
• Occupation: retired credit manager for
Industrial Credit; former owner, Aurora
Greenhouse Company
• Education: B.A. business and economics
• Single
• 4-year Vietnam veteran, U.S. Navy,
• Community involvement: Heather Ridge HOA
member, 14 of 16 years in roles of president,
vice president and secretary, Sugar Grove
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