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May 10, 2017 10:47 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Free Library Board Proposes $3.1 Million Budget

May 11, 2017 8:18 AM

The Westhampton Free Library is asking district residents on Tuesday to approve a $3.1 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, a plan that increases overall spending by 5.5 percent but does not pierce the state cap on tax levies.

One of the largest bumps comes under the Westhampton Beach library’s salary line, which is increasing by more than 8.4 percent, or $131,212, to $1,687,667. The spike, according to Library Director Danielle Waskiewicz, is due to ongoing contractual negotiations between the board and the facility’s roughly 30 employees who voted in 2015 to join the State United Teachers union. During discussions, she explained, the board learned that its salary schedule was not on par with other nearby libraries. The increase, she said, will be funded through payments from the library's feeder districts.

The corresponding tax levy is expected to climb by $59,359, or 2.7 percent, to $2,240,757 under the budget.

The library district is also anticipating a tax rate of just under 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of roughly one cent. That means, for a house valued at $500,000, a taxpayer would pay $247.50 in library taxes next year, or about $5.50 more than this year so long as assessments remain the same.

Westhampton Beach School District residents can vote on the library budget, which will be listed as Proposition 2 on the Tuesday’s ballot, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. in the large group instruction room at the high school on Lilac Avenue.

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Don't let them fool you with their "budget". I wonder how much of that salary increase actually goes to the employees (who are some of the lowest paid on LI). You need to look at their 2016 financials. Tom Moore and the Board have posted financials that show an actual expense of $235,000 ($40,000 original budget + additional expense of $195,000) for legal expenses as a result of their lack of management skills on employee relations. The financials also show an additional $150,000 reserved for future ...more
By realistic (463), westhampton on May 10, 17 1:14 PM
Erin McKinley- to be fair- ask the Library how this additional $131,212 is being distributed to the library employees and when? union or non-union staff?
By realistic (463), westhampton on May 10, 17 1:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
In my opinion, the self-appointed, unelected board is being disingenuous and deceitful in framing this budget increase as strictly a yes or no for employee wage increases. It’s a false, unfair choice.

The employees should come first, before expanding and renovating our brand new building. And they should be fairly, objectively, and well compensated.

The library has over $4 million CASH already in their bank accounts—so there’s money; included in that $4 million ...more
By st (123), westhampton beach on May 10, 17 8:00 PM
Please visit https://wflelectedboard.org and our Residents for a Free Westhampton Free Library Facebook page for more information.
By st (123), westhampton beach on May 12, 17 6:59 AM
WOW- new updated article news flash- "The increase" will be funded by the feeder districts. When I looked at the budget proposal they are getting a "WHOPPING" 9.45% Tax increase.
By realistic (463), westhampton on May 12, 17 1:35 PM