Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes

Approved 3/16/2017


Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 pm


Board Member Attendance

Present:  Katherine Dowson, Ari Goldstein, John Hebberger, Jr., Mark Hendrickson, Carol Peck


Audience:  Valerie Maginnis, Library Director; Isabel Zumel, Assistant Library Director; Mary Jo Pollard, Accounting Specialist;  Smokey Rhea, Teton County Commission; Brian Hultman, County Attorney’s Office; Pauline Towers- Dykeman, Teton County Library Foundation Executive Director; Karen Terra, Teton County Library Foundation Board.


Board Chair John Hebberger, Jr. called the meeting to order with a quorum present.


Consent Agenda:  Minutes from 1/20/2017 Board Meeting, Correspondence Report, January 2017 Financials, Director’s Report, Library Supporting Organization Reports – Teton County Library Foundation and Friends of Teton County Library Board


Action Item:  Mark moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Carol seconded.  All voted in favor.


Payment of Library Vouchers

Ari said he reviewed the vouchers.  He flagged a $2,000 invoice from the Foundation Center because he hadn’t seen an invoice from this vendor before.  Valerie said that the Foundation Center database service is a subscription for research on grants, grant writing and an aggregation of funders nationally.  It is for in-library use only.  The library’s Electronic Resource committee is looking at gathering internal use data over the next year on this database.  Ari also noted a check for auto towing services.  Valerie explained this was a situation where an employee was picking up a presenter at the airport.  There were no injuries, but tow services were needed.  This situation presented the opportunity to write a new procedure effective January 31, 2017 that guest presenters use taxi or rental car services from the airport into town.  Library staff will build this ground transportation cost into their budgets.  Carol asked when all board members should review the library vouchers.  John suggested that each board member review the vouchers at least once a year to get a sense of library financials and cash flow.


Action Item:  Carol moved to approve the vouchers.  Ari seconded.  All voted in favor.


TCL 2017 All-Staff Meeting Schedule – Board Member Attendance

John explained that library all-staff meetings occur every other month, and that it is worthwhile to attend in order to learn more about operations and to also represent the board at these meetings.  Valerie shared that staff meetings occur the second Wednesday of every other month, that there is a lot of pertinent information at these meetings and that some meetings have topics that strengthen employee development.  John recommended that we assign a library board member to attend each staff meeting if possible.  Mark volunteered to attend the March 8 staff meeting, and Katherine will attend the May 10 staff meeting.    The board will revisit at the May board meeting which board members will attend the staff meetings in July, October and December.


TCL Board Development

John noted that his and Katherine’s library board terms will be completed, with new terms starting July 2017.  Smokey clarified that the County Commission makes their final appointments to the library board in June.  John indicated that he will probably resubmit his name for consideration for the library board; Katherine indicated she probably would not.  John referenced the board member attribute matrix and that the library board should plan on using it to look at possible board candidates. Carol remarked that we had a good turnout with applicants in the last round of board member recruitment in 2016.  John noted that the Strategic Plan includes items around board development.  Smokey said she will forward information about a training in March on how county boards work together.  Pauline asked if the board could have a preliminary conversation about a board member liaison to the Foundation.  John expressed a preference to wait until the new library board is seated in July.  Carol indicated that she is the current library board member liaison to the Foundation and that she would be willing to continue in this role.


TCL Staff Housing

Valerie reported that the TCL Staff Housing Task Force has been meeting regularly and making progress on this issue.  There are several pieces of good news:  the library currently has access to a 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath dwelling through October 2017 for recruitment purposes.  At the January 2017, the library board indicated support for the recommendation of the Library Foundation purchasing a 1 bedroom, 1 bath dwelling for recruitment and retention.  The Library Foundation board met and approved resources to purchase such a dwelling, as well as to establish a Housing Fund to assist library employees in order to recruit and retain staff.  On February 1, the Housing Task Force met to develop a point-based criteria for accessing a Library Foundation purchased dwelling.  Staff are taking this work seriously and looking at criteria that reflects the best interests of the library.  On February 22, the Housing Task Force will meet again to hone in on criteria in order to come to the March Library Board meeting with a proposal.


Katherine asked if we could renew the lease on the current dwelling.  Pauline replied that it would be possible to renew at this point and that there is uncertainty with the Redmond affordable housing project, which is where the Library Foundation is looking to purchase a 15 year lease on a 1 bedroom, 1 bath dwelling.  Pauline noted that in the current leased dwelling, there is one library staff occupant and that the Library Foundation is subsidizing the unit.  Pauline added that the Foundation board is looking to fund the Housing Fund with $15,000 this year and considering annual allocations to the Fund.  Katherine asked if the Housing Fund was for housing crisis situations.  Pauline replied that the Housing Task Force is open to a broad definition of crisis and a range of situations.  Katherine asked if the library is the only county entity with a Housing Fund.  Valerie replied that the county owns a few “landing pad” dwellings for the purposes of recruitment.  In talking with other public library directors in the region, we are the first library with a supporting organization providing something tangible like a Housing Fund.  Smokey shared that housing exists for county employees, including library employees; that the Sheriff’s Office has a landing pad type dwelling; and that SPET funded projects for voter consideration in May 2017 include Parks and Recreation and START bus projects that include county employee housing.  She said the library, with its supporting organization, is to be applauded for being proactive.  Katherine asked if there are any lessons that we can learn from the school district housing.  Valerie replied that the Housing Task Force looked at the school district criteria, but that the criteria does not completely match our situation, nor do the criteria for Town of Jackson and the Hospital. 


Katherine remarked that the Housing Fund as an extra support is very positive and could make the difference with employee retention.  Carol said that should the Library Foundation purchase a share in the Redmond project, the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust would need to review our criteria.  Pauline said that the library employee housing criteria involves a staff member meeting certain criteria for Housing Trust dwelling eligibility.  Katherine asked if a letter to the County supporting the Redmond project would be helpful.  Smokey said that there is no reason not to write a letter as a board.  John said he would draft a letter noting how the project could support library employees now and in the future, circulate it for board approval, and then send it to Town and County officials. 


TCL Financials Report Draft New Format

Valerie explained that the financial report format was a work in progress and appreciated feedback on if the charts, tables and/or narrative were meaningful.  Carol asked if the charts and tables summary would be in addition to a narrative report.  Valerie replied that we could provide both tables and narrative.  Mark said that he and Ari would work with us on a reporting format that makes financial reporting most meaningful for purposes of the Library Board.  John said that the goal would be to have a new clearer format by the March library board meeting.


TCL FY 18 Operating Budget Request

Valerie shared the March 17 deadline for submitting an operating request to the County.  She explained that the FY 2017 budget request was not that different from previous years, and that the FY 2018 request takes a different approach by being developed directly based on our Strategic Plan goals and objectives.  The budget request will incorporate affirmation of what core library services are, and that they should be funded in the operating request to the county.    Valerie  said that in this budget development process, we are calling out core library services to receive additional funding.  These core services are to be funded through identified salary savings from realized efficiencies we’ve made in FY 2017. Our intention is to make a ‘budget neutral’ request in FY 2018, with the overall dollar request being the same as in FY 2017. 


Valerie discussed some areas of core library services where our FY 2018 requests would be more than in FY 2017.  These include:  increasing our materials budget by nearly $50,000 because we heard in the Strategic Plan process that our community believes books and materials are critical resources; moving public internet computer costs and computer reservation software out of our Foundation request and into our operating request; and increasing part-time hourly staff allocations since these staff provide direct patron services and increasing these hours will support additional open hours in Alta and in Jackson by about 10% starting in FY 2018; increases in facility capital line items to make modifications to the Book Nook, for example. 


Carol asked if public-facing staff are now working 40 hours per week and how many part-time staff we have.  Valerie said that public-facing staff are now at 40 hours a week, that we have about 19 part-time staff, and that we have been implementing a new process of providing part-time staff with set schedules primarily on evenings and weekends.  Valerie commented that we would budget for 3-4 new part-time staff in FY 2018.  Carol asked if part-time staffing translates into excellent service.  Valerie shared that in the past, our part-time staff have provided service at all public desks, but that being proficient at all service points is an unrealistic expectation.  Now, new part-time staff are trained to be proficient at the Front Desk and Youth Desk.  They are scheduled on evenings and weekends, which are times that are not as heavily impacted by the public, and that the expectation is that there is a tiering of questions and encouragement to refer to full-time staff the more complex questions or needs.  Carol noted that in FY 2017 we are currently underspent in personnel.  Valerie said that we will present our ideas on this as part of our FY 2018 budget process, which includes projections for FY 2017 spending.  Carol said that in the last few years, remaining funds have funded our reserves.  Valerie said that this strategy could be one we discuss, particularly as our facility ages.  Valerie  said that some savings are related to not filling some vacant positions, such as the Technology Coordinator, because existing staff have stepped up to fill some of the instruction responsibilities of the position.  She said that we are also using contract work for specific projects.


Smokey said that from the Board of County Commissioner perspective, the more information and explanation about the proposed operating budget that is shared in writing in advance, the better.  It is difficult to cover all of the items in the 10 minute budget presentations to the County Commission.  The County Commission appreciates reading the explanations and seeing the thought processes in how budget development decision are made.


John said that perhaps the library board does not need to schedule a special meeting on the library’s operating budget request.  He is comfortable with the direction of how the FY 2018 budget is being developed and that it is tied to fulfilling the Strategic Plan.    Board members concurred that they would review the proposed operating budget submission at the March 16 library board meeting.


Action Item:  John moved to adjourn the library board meeting.  All voted in favor.