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Plattsburgh Public Library saved

Common Council approves funding as last step to save positions and library

Plattsburgh Common Council member Tim Carpenter helped create the plan that put the wheels in motion to save positions and the Plattsburgh Public Library.

Plattsburgh Common Council member Tim Carpenter helped create the plan that put the wheels in motion to save positions and the Plattsburgh Public Library. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— It was a concerted effort and all the pieces had to fit to save the Plattsburgh Public Library, said Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzack.

On the evening of Dec. 28, the Plattsburgh Common Council voted unanimously to provide the Plattsburgh Public Library with $60,000 in additional funding. The move was step three in a process that saved four positions and will reportedly put the library on the road to financial stability.

“I want to personally thank Councilor (Tim) Carpenter in his work helping the library board,” said Ronald Lockwood, chair of the Plattsburgh Public library Board of Directors.

Carpenter was instrumental in devising a plan that prevented the once seemingly certain termination of four employees, a move which may have put the future of the library in jeopardy.

The Plattsburgh Public Library faced a $150,000 deficit. In response, the library’s board of directors presented a budget that eliminated four positions, a move that could have jeopardized state aid and risked the library’s state accreditation had it been forced to reduce its hours.

Many people have openly questioned how the library ended up with a deficit.

Kasprzack criticized the library, pointing to weak management and said the deficit was partly the result of grievances and some employees abusing the system.

Library employees countered that there were two sides to every story.

The union offered an alternative budget to try and save the four positions and close the budget gap, but the Board of Directors ultimately went with a plan presented by Carpenter.

His four-year plan, among other things, would have the union work with the board to resolve overtime and reduce the book budget $5,000 to $10,000.

Employees would see their hours reduced from 37 to 35 hours.

Employees would have to sign a four-year contract with 0-percent raises and a 15-percent contribution toward health insurance from all employees.

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