Library Board of Trustees
Kenton Weis --President
Ron Busdeker -- Vice President
Toby Farrell -- Secretary
Linda Bringman -- Board Member
Kevin Gladden -- Board Member
Claire Lawrence-- Board Member
Leslie Wyse -- Board Member
The Mission of the Harris-Elmore Public Library and its Genoa Branch is to provide access to materials and services, preserve local history, and inspire lifelong learning and literacy to meet the evolving needs of our communities in a welcoming environment.
The Harris-Elmore Public Library (the Library) was organized as a school district public library in 1937 under the laws of the State of Ohio. Under Ohio statutes, the Library is a body politic and corporate capable of suing and being sued, contracting, acquiring, holding, processing, and disposing of real property, and of exercising such other powers and privileges conferred upon it by law. The Library also determines and operates under its own budget. Control and management of the Library is governed by sections 3375.33 to 3375.41 of the Ohio Revised Code with the administration of the day-to-day operations being the responsibility of the Director and financial accountability being solely that of the Fiscal Officer. The Library is fiscally independent of the Woodmore Board of Education, although the Woodmore Board of Education serves in a ministerial capacity as the taxing authority for the Library. The determination to request approval of a tax levy, the role and purpose(s) of the levy, are discretionary decisions made solely by the Board of Library Trustees. Once those decisions are made, the Woodmore Board of Education must put the levy on the ballot. There is not potential for the Library to provide financial benefit to or impose a financial burden on the Woodmore Board of Education.
The Harris-Elmore Public Library shall be free for the use of all persons living within the community it serves.
Section 1. Appointments and Terms of Office
Appointments and terms of office are as provided by the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3375.15. Seven trustees shall be chosen from the citizens at large of said communities with reference to their fitness for such office, and their term of office shall be for a term of seven years from the first day of January following their appointment and until their successors are appointed. Vacancies on the Board shall be immediately reported by the Board to the Woodmore Local School District Board of Education (the appointing authority) and filled by just cause in the manner provided by the bylaws of the Library Board. No compensation shall be paid or allowed any Trustee. No one is eligible to membership on such board of library trustees who is or has been for a year previous to appointment a member of the board of education making such appointment.
Section 2. Criteria for Selecting New Trustees
The Board should have a mix of membership that meets three basic criteria:
a) The Board should be representative of the demographic groups and community values the library serves.
b) Board members should have experience or knowledge, which enables them to provide insights when the board is deliberation on various questions that arise.
c) A majority of the trustees shall be qualified electors of the school district, but a minority may be qualified electors of the county who reside outside the school district, and all shall be appointed by the Board of Education of the school district.
Section 3. Meeting Attendance
Trustees shall be expected to attend all meetings except as they are prevented by a valid reason.
a) Whenever a library trustee has missed two consecutive, regular board meetings and has not communicated with the board in regard to those absences, the board directs the Fiscal Officer to send written notice to the trustee and request in writing the intent of the library trustee regarding continued membership on the board.
b) Whenever a library trustee has missed three consecutive, regular board meetings and has not communicated with the board inregard to those absences, the board may notify the appropriate appointing authority (Woodmore Board of Education) of such absences, request that the appointing authority declare the position vacant, and request that the appointing authority notify the person of such action.
Section 4. Removal
Except as noted in Article II Section 3 (b), the Board of Trustees may only remove a Trustee if s/he is accused or indicted for any criminal activity while in service of her/his term. Otherwise, the Trustee must resign on his/her own accord.
The officers shall be a president, vice president, and a secretary elected from among the appointed trustees at the annual meeting of the Board. No member shall hold more than one office at a time. Vacancies in office shall be filled, at the next regular meeting of the Board after the vacancy occurs, by voting to recommend a candidate to the Board of Education of the Woodmore Local School District (the appointing authority).
Officers shall serve a term of one year from the annual meeting at which they are elected and until their successors are duly elected. All officers are authorized to co-sign checks drawn on funds held in custody of the library.
The president shall preside at meetings of the Board, authorize calls for special meetings, appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the Board, serve as ex-officio voting member of all committees, and generally perform all duties associated with the office of president.
The vice president, in the event of the absence or disability of the president, or of a vacancy in that office, shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the president.
The secretary shall keep true and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Board, shall issue notice of all regular and special meetings, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with the office of secretary. The library director or a member of the staff may be designated by the Board to perform some of the above duties.
Section 1. Regular Meetings.
The regular meetings shall be held each month (with the exception of August), the date and hour to be set by the Board at its annual meeting. Typically, the Board meets on the second Monday at 7:00 p.m. EST. All meetings are held at the Harris-Elmore Public Library, with the exception of the September meeting, which is held at the Genoa Branch Library.
Section 2. Annual Reorganization Meeting.
The annual reorganization meeting, which shall be for the purpose of the election of officers and appointment of a fiscal officer, shall be held at the time of the regular meeting in January of each year, according to ORC 3375.32.
Section 3. Agendas and Notices.
Meeting agendas and notices shall indicate the time, date, and place of the meeting and indicate all subject matters intended for consideration at the meeting. Posted notices, notification in local newspapers, and Web sites are all acceptable means of notification.
Section 4. Minutes.
Minutes of all meetings shall, at a minimum, indicate board members present, all items of business, all motions (except those that were withdrawn), and the result of all votes taken. Approved board minutes shall be available in the library.
Section 5. Special Meetings.
Special meetings may be called at the direction of the president, and shall be called at the written request of 2 members, for the transaction of business as stated in the call for the meeting. Except in cases of emergency, at least 48 hours’ notice shall be given. In no case may less than two hours’ notice be given.
Section 6. Emergency Meetings.
Emergency meetings may be convened because a situation requires immediate official action by the Board. In this case, the notice requirement is immediate. The Board shall notify all news media outlets that have requested such notice.
Section 7. Quorum.
A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of four members of the Board present in person.
Section 8. Open Meetings Law Compliance.
All Board meetings and all committee meetings shall be held in compliance with the Ohio Meetings Law (Sunshine Law), and therefore, all members of the public are entitled to attend the proceedings of these meetings. A member of the public is guaranteed the right to attend a public meeting but not the right to be heard at that meeting. A disruptive person waives the right to remain and observe the meeting and may be removed.
Section 9. Executive Session.
The Board may go into executive session for one of the following reasons:
Personnel. To consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or to consider the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual.
Property. To consider the purchase of property, or the sale of property by competitive bid.
Court action. The Board may discuss pending or imminent court action in executive session, but the library’s duly appointed legal counsel (county prosecutor) must be present.
Collective Bargaining. To discuss, prepare for, conduct, or review collective bargaining issues.
Confidential Matters. To discuss matters required to be kept confidential by federal law, federal rules, or state statutes.
Security arrangements. To discuss security arrangements and emergency response protocols where the disclosure of that information could be expected to jeopardize the security of the library.
There shall be no decision-making in executive session. In executive session, the only vote that can be taken is a motion to adjourn or recess the session. When the Board comes out of executive
session, the time of reopening should be noted, and then any motion and/or votes on the matters discussed in executive session may be made.
In order to begin an executive session, there must be a motion and second that states the specific matters to be discussed and who will be in attendance in the session. The vote on the motion must be done by roll call.
The minutes should reflect only that a discussion on a certain subject area was held.
Section 10. Parliamentary Authority.
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, latest revised edition, shall govern the parliamentary procedure of the meetings, in all cases in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any statutes applicable to this Board. Furthermore, since the Board can be defined as a “small board” (fewer than fifteen), procedures for small boards shall be used (Ohio Public Library Trustees’ Handbook 4th Edition, 2008). For example:
The person presiding may make motions, participate in discussions, and vote on all questions.
Informal discussion of a question is permitted without a motion on the floor.
Some actions may be taken without a motion, if the proposal is clear to all present. This requires the general consent of all present. For example, the minutes may be approved and the meeting may be adjourned without a formal motion.
Motions to stop or limit debate of the board members are generally not allowed in small groups.
When a motion is made, the proper sequence to follow is:
Motion is made by member;
Motion is seconded;
Chair restates the motion;
Debate on the motion;
Chair restates motion, including any amendments; and
Vote is taken
The motion as amended and the vote on the motion shall be recorded accurately in the minutes, including roll call votes when taken.
Section 1. Standing Committees.
Any standing committees shall be appointed by the president promptly after the annual meeting and shall make recommendations to the Board as pertinent to Board meeting agenda items.
Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees.
Ad hoc committees for the study of special problems or projects shall be appointed by the president, with the approval of the Board, to serve until the final report of the work for which they were appointed has been filed. These committees may also include staff and public representatives, as well as outside experts.
Section 3. No committee shall have other than advisory powers.
Duties of the Board of Trustees
Legal responsibility for the operation of the Harris Elmore Public Library is vested in the Board of Trustees. Subject to state and federal law, the Board has the power and duty to determine rules and regulations governing library operations and services.
The Board shall select, appoint and supervise a competent library director and upon his/her recommendation, employ such other employees as may be necessary for the efficient operation of the library, and determine the duties and compensation of all library employees.
The Board shall select, appoint and supervise a competent fiscal officer.
The Board shall approve the budget and make sure that adequate funds are provided to finance the approved budget.
The Board shall have exclusive control of the expenditure of all moneys collected, donated or appropriated for the library fund and shall vote to approve library expenditures over $1,000. The Board approves all expenditures as indicated by a board member’s signature requirement for all checks. The Board shall ensure that the books, records and accounts of the library are audited bi-annually subject to state law.
The Board shall study and support legislation that will bring about the greatest good to the greatest number of library users.
The Board shall cooperate with other public officials and boards and maintain vital public relations.
The Board shall approve and the Director and Fiscal Officer shall submit required annual reports to the State Library of Ohio and the Ohio Auditor of State respectively.
The Library Director shall be employed by the Board of Trustees and shall be responsible to the Board. The Library Director shall be considered the executive officer of the library under the direction and review of the Board, and subject to the policies established by the Board. The Director shall act as technical advisor to the Board. The Director shall work with the Fiscal Officer to prepare and mail board meeting information, including agenda, minutes, financial reports, etc. in a timely manner. The Director shall attend all Board meetings (but may be excused from executive sessions) and shall have no vote. The Library Director shall perform additional duties as assigned by the Board of Trustees.
The Fiscal Officer shall be employed by the Board of Trustees and shall be responsible to the Board. The Fiscal Officer shall work cooperatively with the Director in preparation of the annual appropriations resolution and the proposed budget. The Fiscal Officer shall prepare monthly and annual financial reports for the Board, and file reports in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code and other applicable local, state, and federal laws. The Fiscal Officer shall process all payroll, fringe benefits and retirement system payments and keep adequate records of such. The Fiscal Officer shall attend all Board meetings (but may be excused from executive sessions) and shall have no vote. The Fiscal Officer shall perform additional duties as assigned by the Board of Trustees.
Conflict of Interest
Board members may not in their private capacity negotiate, bid for, or enter into a contract with the Harris-Elmore Public Library in which they have a direct or indirect financial interest. This does not mean that a Board member may not be a stockholder, officer, or director of a bank designated as a depository for the public library.
A board member shall withdraw from Board discussion, deliberation, and the vote on any matter in which the Board member, an immediate family member, or an organization with which the Board member is associated has a substantial financial interest.
A board member may not receive anything of value that could reasonably be expected to influence his or her vote or other official action.
An affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the Board present at the time shall be necessary to approve any action before the Board. The president may vote upon and may move or second a proposal before the Board.
These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board by majority vote of all members of the Board, provided written notice of the proposed amendment shall have been mailed/emailed to all members at least ten days prior to the meeting at which such actions proposed to be taken.
Section 3. Legal Counsel.
The county prosecutor is the legal counsel for public libraries in Ohio. In cases where the county prosecutor cannot serve, the Library Board is empowered, at its own expense, to employ independent legal counsel.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Harris Elmore Public Library on November 12, 2018.
Library Board Meetings are on the 2nd Monday of each month unless otherwise noted
There are no meetings in August
All Meetings are held each month at the Harris-Elmore or Genoa Branch locations (check calendar for meeting place each month)
The Public is welcome to attend all meetings, but are not permitted to sit in on EXECUTIVE SESSIONS
President--preside at meetings of the Board, authorize calls for special meetings, appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the Board, serve as ex-officio voting member of all committees, and generally perform all duties associated with the office of president.
Vice President--in the event of the absence or disability of the president, or of a vacancy in that office, shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the president.
Secretary--keep true and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Board, shall issue notice of all regular and special meetings, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with the office of secretary. The library director or a member of the staff may be designated by the Board to perform some of the above duties.
Board Members--attend regular and special board meetings as called for by the President; vote on all pertinent issues brought up in the agenda; promote the library
*All Officer Positions are voted on by the Board of Trustees at the January Organization Meeting and are served for 1 year
7 Board Members
7 Year Terms
Live in Harris, Clay, or Allen Twp. (Ottawa County, OH)
Appointed by Woodmore Board of Education
The Harris-Elmore Public Library & the Genoa Branch Library serve the citizens of Harris Township, Clay Township, & Allen Township in Ottawa County, Ohio.