With levy, library would remain independent

To the Adirondack Journal:

Readers of the Adirondack Journal may also have read an article in the Feb. 14 Post-Star reporting on the recent Warrensburg School Board meeting at which there was discussion of a voting booth at the school district election in May for Richards Library’s proposition for a levy to support its operating budget. The article contained errors unrelated to anything discussed at the school board meeting and revealed misunderstanding of the levy.

The article says that if the levy passes, the library would “become a quasi-public entity with its taxpayer-generated revenue administered by the school district.”

This is incorrect. Richards Library’s charter status as an association (private) library would not change. Its revenue absolutely would not be administered by the school district; the law doesn’t permit it.

State law provides that the school district conduct the vote and collect the tax, turning the money directly over to the library to be administered by the trustees according to their own budget.

The school has no role whatsoever in determining or administering the library’s budget. Many private association libraries all over the state receive funding by this method, including many in this area.

The Post-Star article also says, “The library has seen its endowment plummet in recent years, as expansion efforts at the facility have gone well over budget.” This implies that the endowment plummeted because of the building project.

No, the endowment plummeted because of the debacles in the stock market over the past dozen years. The endowment, established by the founders a century ago, is separate from the building fund, which comes from donations.

The trustees are making great efforts to inform voters that the levy is not part of the school budget and has nothing to do with the school. It would be unfortunate if the Post-Star’s errors set back those efforts.

Barbara Whitford

Library aide, Warrensburg

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