Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Library Board on May 12 recognized trustees leaving the board. Recognized were Robert Bergman, with 13 years of service (1998-2011); Sheree Novotny with 9 years of service (2003-2011); Carol Olsen with 17 years of service (1993-2010); and Julie Wilson with three years of service (2008-2011).
The Sugar Grove Public Library Board of trustees, along with the staff of the Sugar Grove Library and the Friends of the Sugar Grove Library, have decided that a referendum for operating funds not be on the April 2011 ballot, due to difficult economic times for the patrons and residents of Sugar Grove.
We feel strongly that we must recognize the economic strains on our community. The decision to wait until there is a more opportune time to run a successful referendum campaign addresses the financial constraints of our residents and the community understanding of how those additional library dollars would be useful.
There are many that wish the library could, and would, offer more to the community in terms of hours, collections and services. There are many that are without the resources to help financially support paying more for the library. Therefore, in good faith, we will postpone our desire to raise revenues for operating our library. At this time we are doing our best at providing hours and services while we work to balance keeping expenditures lean and library experiences rich.
We invite you to visit the library, patronize The Book Nook Cafe and support our Library Friends fundraising efforts.
Art Morrical, Sabrina Malano,
Julie Wilson, Robert Bergman,
Bill Durrenberger, Sheree Novotny,
Sugar Grove Public Library
Board of Trustees
Applications accepted until Oct. 20 for board appointment
by David Maas
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Sugar Grove Public Library Trustee Carol Olsen resigned after 15 years on the board.
â€œI canâ€™t say that I was surprised,â€ said Sheree Novotny, library trustee, â€œI know she had a lot going on, and she resigned with regret.â€
Olsen stated in her letter of resignation she was leaving for personal reasons. She was out of town this week and unavailable to the Elburn Herald for further comment.
To fill the vacancy on the seven-member board, the boardâ€™s personnel committee is asking for letters of intent from interested applicants.
â€œWe are looking for people interested in helping the community,â€ said Novotny, a committee member.
In their letters of intent, applicants should cite the reason they are interested in the position and include any background they have in volunteer work.
Applicants must be residents of Sugar Grove and be at least 18 years of age.
The selected applicant will be seated until the next consolidated election, in spring 2011. The board appointee may run for reinstatement at that time, if they choose. A standard term of office is six years.
Applicants should send a letter of intent to Sugar Grove Public Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes, 125 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, Oct. 20.
by Martha Quetsch
SUGAR GROVEâ€”The Sugar Grove Library District has held 10 referendums since 2004 asking voters to approve more taxes for operations. Each time, voters defeated the district’s proposal. The Library Board has not given up but does not plan to hold another referendum until next spring at the earliest.
â€œConsidering the amount of negativity (in the community related to recent library expense cuts), I don’t see how that can be turned around by November to have a successful referendum campaign,â€ Library Board member Sheree Novotny said during the board’s July 8 meeting.
â€œI am also not in favor of holding a referendum in this economy,â€ Novotny added.
Other board members agreed.
The Library Board on June 23 cut employees’ salaries by 5 percent because of revenue constraints in the library’s operating budget, which funds staff wages and benefits.
Village resident Mari Johnson told the Library Board members July 8 that she opposed the pay cuts and wanted them to look at how to boost property tax revenue to address the budget crisis, instead.
â€œFocus your energy on how to get a referendum passed and why the public won’t approve one,â€ Johnson said.
Novotny told the board July 8 that the greatest challenge they must tackle to achieve a successful referendum is making sure the public understands it.
Sugar Grove opened the doors to its new library building in August 2009. An $8 million building bond that voters approved in a November 2004 referendum paid for the building. However, during the same election, voters did not approve a referendum for a tax increase for library operations.
Since then, the Library District has held operating tax increase referendums in nine elections, and voters defeated all of them: one in 2005, two in 2006, one in 2007, two in 2008, one in 2009, and another in February 2010.
Getting the facts is important to the informed voter. Offering facts about the library is one of the responsibilities we have as library trustees.
We hope to clear up some critical misconceptions about the Sugar Grove Public Library referendum. Here are three essential points that we hope will help.
First, the 2004 building referendum was successful. It established a separate fund of money to pay for the new building, not to operate it. Our new library is currently under construction and will open in August 2009. The board is required to spend money from the bond on the construction of that library only. Those funds cannot be used to operate the new building. The new building will have meeting rooms available for groups of all ages, and a cafe and coffee bar housed internally. Voters should also know that this new building has seen many reductions in order to be fiscally sound.
Secondly, the current referendum seeks a rate increase in order to operate the new building. The library has not had a rate increase since being established in 1963. With approved funds, we will provide more hours of service, expand programs, increase our collection, provide more Internet service and access to information and create jobs in our community.
Finally, the money available to operate the new building is the same amount of money available to run the current building. This amount barely covers our current needs. The difficulty is shrinking funds and a larger building.
Join us March 21 and â€œGet the Factsâ€ at the Sugar Grove Public Library. Trustees and our director will be on hand between 2 and 4 p.m. at the library, 54 Snow St., to answer questions about the upcoming referendum. We look forward to helping you become an informed voter for the upcoming election.
Sugar Grove Public Library Trustees