09.08.17 – EB Meeting Minutes – Special

09.08.17 – EB Meeting Minutes – Special

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River Edge Free Public Library

September 8, 2017

PRESIDING:                 Kurt Hadeler                              Mahwah

PRESENT:                    Marie Coughlin                          BCCLS

                                      Christine Hartigan                      East Rutherford

                                      Jennifer Breuer                          Glen Ridge

                                      Matthew Latham                        Leonia

                                      Laurence Bergmann                  Livingston

                                      Tina DeLucia                             New Milford

                                      Susan Meeske                          Old Tappan

                                      Daragh O’Connor                      River Edge

                                      Laura Rifkin                              Washington Township

                                      Samantha McCoy                      West Caldwell

NOT PRESENT:            Mimi Hui                                   Hasbrouck Heights

ALSO PRESENT:         Darlene Swistock                      Recorder of Minutes

GUESTS:                      Eric Lozauskas                          BCCLS

                                      Holly Belli                                  Bloomfield

Stephanie Bellucci                     Cliffside Park

                                      Adele Puccio                            Fair Lawn

                                      Ellen O’Keefe                            Glen Rock

                                      Monica Smith                            Hawthorne

                                      Mary Ellen Puzen                      Hawthorne

                                      Amy Babcock-Landry                Livingston

                                      Peter Coyl                                Montclair

                                     Terrie McColl                            New Milford

                                      Paul Shaver                              Northvale

                                     John Trause                              Oradell

                                     Susan Kumar                            Palisades Park

                                     Leonard LoPinto                       Paramus

                                     Riti Grover                                Ramsey

                                     Kathleen McGrail                       Upper Saddle River

                                     Margaret Mellett                        Wood-Ridge

 1.     Call to Order

Kurt Hadeler called the meeting to order at 1:34 pm. 

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent resignation of the Executive Director, succession planning and provide a quick update and overview of the 2018 budget and new billing formula.

2.     Public Portion


3.     Succession Plan – Executive Director

The Personnel Committee’s Report was previously distributed to the board members. 

Kurt Hadeler noted that Marie Coughlin tendered her resignation on August 31 with a 60-day notice per her contract.  He anticipated that the search for a new Executive Director would take at least 6 months.  Per the BCCLS By-laws, the Executive Director Search Committee (EDSC) will be composed of the current BCCLS President, Kurt Hadeler, and past BCCLS Presidents who are still active Directors within BCCLS:  Judah Hamer, Terrie McColl, Michael McCue and Leonard LoPinto.  Kurt Hadeler also added Jennifer Breuer, Mimi Hui and Laura Rifkin from the Personnel Committee.  The Personnel Committee met on September 5 to discuss the short-term succession plan; Mimi Hui was on vacation and Marie Coughlin was unable to attend the meeting and provided her input via e-mail prior to the meeting.  The EDSC will meet on September 19.  Progress updates will be provided on a regular basis.  Kurt Hadeler thanked Eric Lozauskas for all of his help and support running the BCCLS office while Marie Coughlin was on maternity leave.  He noted that the EDSC needs to find an Interim Executive Director as it would not be feasible to pull him away from his regular job as Director of Technology for 6 months, or longer, until a new Executive Director is found.  In addition, the Personnel Committee will review the Executive Director and Executive Board’s relationship as there needs to be a healthy balance; suggest ideas to build stronger relationships between the BCCLS staff and all of the libraries; consider ways to improve morale in the BCCLS office, and review the dynamic between BCCLS committees and BCCLS liaisons.  

4.     Budget/Billing Formula

Marie Coughlin advised that 3 webinars have been scheduled to review the BCCLS budget and new billing formula.  They are scheduled for Monday, September 11; Tuesday, September 12; and Wednesday, September 13.  A copy of her PowerPoint presentation was distributed to the members of the Executive Board.   She reviewed the budget again after her return from maternity leave and made additional cuts to the budget above what was requested by the Executive Board during the meeting on August 9.  After feedback from the webinars is collated, the budget will be updated and included in the packet for System Council.  The voting process was discussed. 

Kurt Hadeler advised that the Elections Committee will be sharing the list of candidates running for the 3 positions that will be open at the end of the year when current board terms expire.

5.     Membership Hearing


6.     Closed Session

It was MOVED by:  Laurence Bergmann             Seconded by:  Jennifer Breuer

To move to closed session at 2:00 pm

It was MOVED by:  Matthew Latham                   Seconded by:  Jennifer Breuer

To return to open session at 3:10 pm

The Executive Board went into closed session to discuss one of the clauses of the Executive Director’s contract.  Per her notice, she will work through October 30.  If she elects to depart prior to October 30, the time would be unpaid.  She was asked to give her decision to the Executive Board by 5:00 pm on September 11. 

It was MOVED by:  Laura Rifkin                         Seconded by:  Christine Hartigan

To retain Marie Coughlin through October 30, 2017 as per her contract.  If she wishes to depart sooner, the difference would be unpaid.  She was asked to let the Executive Board know her decision by September 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm.

7.     Membership Hearing

A discussion followed.  Are the costs for the Executive Search Firm, Interim Executive Director and salary structure included in the budget?  (They will be included in the webinar discussions next week.  The salary for the new Executive Director was listed as a placeholder in the Salary Schedule.)  Were there interviews for the 2 BCCLS office positions that will not be filled?  (Yes, 2 offers were made and declined for the Staff Development & Engagement Coordinator.  The search was paused and the line subsequently removed from the budget.)  What if the budget does not pass?  (Marie Coughlin advised that she is also working on an austerity budget in addition to the 2 budgets based on the new billing formula and the current billing formula.)  What if there is no consensus on the Interim Executive Director?  (It is one of the charges of the EDSC to ensure that someone is in place as the BCCLS organization cannot run without an Executive Director or Interim Executive Director.)  The Personnel Committee was asked whose responsibility is it to show the BCCLS office staff they are appreciated?  (Everyone can convey this message and Kurt Hadeler advised that individual, meaningful thank yous are appropriate.)  Leonard LoPinto indicated that it is proper to go through the Executive Director to communicate with her staff.  He also noted that the exit interviews with former BCCLS office staff should not have taken place without her knowledge and the closed session to discuss personnel and the audit/budget discussion at the August 9 Executive Board meeting should have waited 2 weeks until her return from maternity leave.  He also stated that everyone needs to come together and work together.  Marie Coughlin advised that she heard many nice comments about how the staff handled the office while she was out, but it is important to stop the negative rhetoric now and start working in a positive, collaborative way.  A comment was made that people are sensitive to miscommunications and are concerned about their jobs.  There was a question about congeniality, misunderstandings and job descriptions.  (Marie will be revising some job descriptions, but wants to let the new Executive Director come in with his/her own vision for staffing needs.) 

In summary, Kurt Hadeler advised that the big rift in BCCLS needs to be healed; we need to build consensus and work through it together. 

8.     Adjournment

It was MOVED by:  Daragh O’Connor                  Seconded by:  Christine Hartigan

To adjourn at 3:34 pm

Unanimously approved.

dms:  9/12/17