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Jan 20, 2016 9:11 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Free Library Seeks Applicants To Serve On Board Of Directors

After the resignation of Karen Andrews, second from left, the Westhampton Free Library Board of Trustees have been operating with a four person board. GREG WEHNER
Jan 20, 2016 11:37 AM

The Westhampton Free Library Board of Trustees, which has been operating for the past two months with just four members—one fewer than mandated under state regulations—is actively seeking volunteers who are interested in serving.

On November 18, board member Karen Andrews, who served for 12 years, resigned from her post. She was the fourth member of the old library guard, formerly headed by longtime President Joan Levan, to step down in the wake of increased public scrutiny following the firing of a former employee.

The New York State Board of Regents stipulates that library boards must have a minimum of five members, and a maximum of seven members, according to new Westhampton Free Library Board President Tom Moore. Mr. Moore, who was appointed in the fall, said the first order of business is filling the fifth open seat, though he did not dismiss the possibility of eventually expanding the board so it includes seven members.

Mr. Moore, the husband of Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore, declined to say if the current search means that the board is no longer interested in possibly changing the way that members are selected. Presently, board members are appointed by those already serving on the board—a pattern that has upset those in the community who, in recent months, started demanding that their library trustees be elected by the public.

Some members of the community, including former library employee Sabina Trager of Westhampton Beach who was fired last year by Ms. Levan after Ms. Trager allegedly breached library policy, have been pushing for the conversion.

According to Mr. Moore, such a change would require a modification of the library’s charter through the New York Board of Regents.

“The board wants to give this issue full consideration and not act precipitously one way or the other,” Mr. Moore wrote in an email. “Whatever the selection process the Board finally settles upon, it is the Board’s objective to have and maintain a full compliment of trustees that draws upon the variety of talents and insights of people in our community.”

Interested parties can download application forms at www.westhamptonlibrary.net or pick up one at the front circulation desk at the Library Avenue facility. Potential applicants must be registered voters and live in the Westhampton Beach School District.

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It is important for the public to be informed and hold the library accountable.
By susgeek (28), Speonk on Jan 27, 16 1:41 PM
I hope the library board will accept the fairness of being an elected board. Also, the library board should consider hosting a film on cellphone dangers that is available. The devices and other transmitters of radiation are dangerous. The Ashland, Mass., library had a showing of the one-hour and 24-minute film Jan. 26. Link to the story is http://tinyurl.com/zd53mae
By JackO'Dwyer (16), New York on Jan 27, 16 1:52 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By realistic (408), westhampton on Jan 27, 16 7:19 PM
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