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Library’s bid to restore funding scratched from STM


SHIRLEY – During a final run-through of the Nov. 10 Special Town Meeting warrant Monday night, selectmen recommended favorable action on all but two of the 15 articles.

Specifically, they held off recommendations on —

* An article that seeks to amend town bylaws to upgrade penalties and fees for violations such as illegal trash dumping, pending town counsel’s advice on its language.

* An article that seeks to accept Derby Drive as a town road, pending information from the Planning Board.

The board supports the two articles but needs “clarification,” Town Administrator Patrice Garvin said, and both articles will be on the warrant.

But selectmen did scratch one item: Hazen Memorial Library Trustees’ bid to add $4,600 to the library expense line. One of several line item adjustments under article one, the amount would partially restore a previous budget cut, Library Trustees said.

Citing “differences of opinion” between Hazen Memorial Library Trustees and the Town Hall Finance Team, Chairman David Swain said the library budget is “right on target” without the requested increase in the expense line.

Noting that he had met with Library Director Deb Roy over the weekend, Swain said it seemed clear to him that “we’re not on the same page” about what the library needs.

He recommended withdrawing the request in favor of another sit-down to hash out the issues and perhaps resubmitting the request at a subsequent Town Meeting.

But Library Trustee Beth Quinty argued that the request is not an increase but a “reinstatement of what was cut” at Annual Town Meeting and it should stay on the warrant. “I agree more communication is needed, but the trustees still want townspeople to decide” on this issue, she said.

Swain said the $5,000 plucked from the library budget reflected the library’s share of a performance contract every department contributed to in the same manner. Energy savings the contract guarantees will translate into cost savings for the departments.

“You will see energy savings (of more than) we took out and you can use it in your budget,” he said.

But Roy and the trustees have said that’s not the amount in question, and that $10,000 was cut from the library budget last year, including its share of the performance contract.