On September 16, residents in the Sag Harbor School District will vote on the spending plan for the John Jermain Memorial Library, as well as three seats up for grabs in this year’s library board of trustee contest.
According to John Jermain Memorial Library Director Catherine Creedon, the current trustees whose seats are up for election – current library board president Christiane Neuville, trustee Theresa Ameres and trustee Susan Merrell – will all seek to keep their places on the board.
This year’s proposed library budget is for $989,580, a 9.26 percent increase from last year’s approved spending plan of $905,700. According to Creedon, while the library’s projected budget does show an increase, it is not an increase in spending for children’s books was not factored into last year’s budget and projected costs for fuel did not meet the library’s demand. In this spending plan, purchasing for the children’s section of the library is back in the budget, and the library is attempting to accurately predict what it will spend in fuel and not under-budget for a second fiscal year.
“It costs about $1000 a week during the coldest part of the year to heat this building,” noted Creedon.
She added that other increases in the budget could be attributed to increases in the cost of benefits and health insurance for existing employees at the library. Health insurance premiums are up 12 percent from last year, she said.
“Of our 20 employees, 17 or 18 live in Sag Harbor,” noted Creedon when discussing the rise in costs for employee benefits and health insurance. “At least seven of them went through the Sag Harbor schools, so I really think we are a community library in that sense as well. I am always mindful of that when I think about benefits for our staff. It actually benefits our community more directly than our up-island counterparts who don’t have this same dynamic.”
There are also minimal rises in material costs, said Creedon, and administrative costs are up about $15,000. Last year, she noted, the required annual audit of the library was not factored into the budget. Computer related expenses are also up about $7000.
Petitions for trustee seats are available at the Sag Harbor School District clerk’s office and at the library. Petitions must be submitted to the district clerk by 4 p.m. on August 18 and must have 25 signatures from registered voters in the district.
Above: The John Jermain Memorial Library. (r. odell-shapiro photo)