Romano: Library in Financial trouble

Posted in the Utica Forum

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Lerfer and Calumet

Utica, NY

#1 Jun 25, 2013
Last year Linda Romano told New Hartford she needed a million dollars a year or the library and as recently April this year states that:“We are in tough times now and I think that tough measures are called for."

Yet, when she pushed through the $16,000 parting gift to Hans Plembeck she could be heard agreeing that the money is not in the budget and that it is against Library policy. What gives? How can the library be in such dire straights that she will give away thousands of dollars she admits the library doesn't have? Is that responsible? Is this the kind of person we should entrust hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money to?

A Utica OD article dated April 17th of this year includes an interesting quote. The quote is the last sentence of the article and appears to relate to the financial situation and fundraising activities for the Library:

“We are in tough times now and I think that tough measures are called for,” Romano said.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/news/x848272291/Disagr ...
http://www.uticaod.com/news/x848272291/Disagr ...

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New Hartford resident

Quincy, MA

#2 Jun 25, 2013
Thank you for posting this. Its refreshing to see FACTS posted instead of just more of the smear campaign.

It shows just how irresponsible of was for the library trustees to give this money away when they can't afford it.

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Roy S

Quincy, MA

#3 Jun 25, 2013
New Hartford resident wrote:
Thank you for posting this. Its refreshing to see FACTS posted instead of just more of the smear campaign.
It shows just how irresponsible of was for the library trustees to give this money away when they can't afford it.
The OD really needs to follow up on this. You can't be a trustee if you can't be trusted with other people's money.

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English Rider

Hampton, VA

#4 Jun 25, 2013
Unbeleivable. Isn't CPA Heather Mowhat a trustee? How can a CPA vote in fvor of this when the library is broke?$16,000 would have bought quite a lot of books.

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Dennis

West Hartford, CT

#5 Jun 25, 2013
English Rider wrote:
Unbeleivable. Isn't CPA Heather Mowhat a trustee? How can a CPA vote in fvor of this when the library is broke?$16,000 would have bought quite a lot of books.
This is serious issue. How can we provide money to the library if we don't knowif they will spend it wisely?

How can they in good conscience give this money away when the library is broke? Doesn't this put the library at risk? What happens if everyone else wants the same deal?

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A few comments

Rome, NY

#6 Jun 25, 2013
Heather is on the personnel committee and was against the "retirement" package, but she changed her mind after there was a closed door discussion. Only the trustees know what was discussed during the closed door meeting. Is it possible that some information came out that changed Heathers mind on the subject. It appears that She was the only one to change her vote.

I certainly hope that the decision was not based on the trustees feeling sorry for the retired director or that they feel he was under paid. NYS is an employed at will state. If he was unhappy with his compensation, then he was free to find another job.

Why is everyone stating he has worked for the library for 30 years, not sure how this was possible since the library is not 30 years old. Could someone explain this?

The name calling, back stabbing and smearing is horrible! You would be much more productive if you kept to facts.

1) the trustees gave up to $16000 to a retired employee for what they claim was well deserved
2) two trustees did not agree
3) the library is currently in the red, but who really knows since there seems to be a lack of financial committee meetings
4) if the retired director was so good, why is the library working in the red? Isn't it part of the job of the Director to stick to a budget and raise money?

We are tired about hearing the smear campaigns and finger pointing. As trustees you will be against some of the decisions and for some of them. The vote was passed by the majority. MOVE ON!

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Avery

Hampton, VA

#7 Jun 25, 2013
A few comments wrote:
Heather is on the personnel committee and was against the "retirement" package, but she changed her mind after there was a closed door discussion. Only the trustees know what was discussed during the closed door meeting. Is it possible that some information came out that changed Heathers mind on the subject. It appears that She was the only one to change her vote.
I certainly hope that the decision was not based on the trustees feeling sorry for the retired director or that they feel he was under paid. NYS is an employed at will state. If he was unhappy with his compensation, then he was free to find another job.
Why is everyone stating he has worked for the library for 30 years, not sure how this was possible since the library is not 30 years old. Could someone explain this?
The name calling, back stabbing and smearing is horrible! You would be much more productive if you kept to facts.
1) the trustees gave up to $16000 to a retired employee for what they claim was well deserved
2) two trustees did not agree
3) the library is currently in the red, but who really knows since there seems to be a lack of financial committee meetings
4) if the retired director was so good, why is the library working in the red? Isn't it part of the job of the Director to stick to a budget and raise money?
We are tired about hearing the smear campaigns and finger pointing. As trustees you will be against some of the decisions and for some of them. The vote was passed by the majority. MOVE ON!
Its not that simple. If library money was misappropriated then the right answer is is to approach the town board and ask for an independant review and corrective action. Just because a majority of Trustees voted for it does not mean that it was right or in the interest of the library. The library cannot afford it. Linda and Heather even admited that during the meeting. What about the future? The curent library HR policy now has no teeth. Every employee will have the right to expect the same separation package that Plembeck got. It could cost the library thousands for years to come and none of that money will be spent FOR the library. The librayr is broke, Linda Romano stated that herself in April, why are we wasting money?
Dennis

West Hartford, CT

#8 Jun 25, 2013
OK can anyone, without personal attacks tell us why it is in the interest of the library to give $16,000 to Hans Plembeck when he is no longer an employee?
Blackhawk fan

Hampton, VA

#9 Jun 25, 2013
Dennis wrote:
OK can anyone, without personal attacks tell us why it is in the interest of the library to give $16,000 to Hans Plembeck when he is no longer an employee?
I'm interested in getting a good explaination too. So, where is it?
the needs of the few

New York, NY

#10 Jun 25, 2013
Blackhawk fan wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm interested in getting a good explaination too. So, where is it?
In Linda Romano's world, the needs of the few (politically connected, ruling class, elite powerbrokers) outweigh the needs of the many (county & town taxpayers and library patrons).

Lawyers usually have a knack for screwing the people. That's why many politicians are lawyers (Clinton, Obama, Pirnie, Meier, Griffo, Brindisi, et al).
Pat Jizinski

Utica, NY

#11 Jun 25, 2013
I hear Larry Adler has been looking at the property to put a Costco in. A deal brokered by Linda Romano
Blackhawk fan

Hampton, VA

#12 Jun 25, 2013
Well, that's not quite what I was looking for. The only thing that is obvious is that there is no obvious reason for the library board to give away $16,000 in funding from a cash strapped library. Can't anyone else come up with a better explaination?
Ralph Wilson

Utica, NY

#13 Jun 25, 2013
Thank you for the update Ed Wiatr. Only you would have all the details and the free time to post the update. Keep up the good work. Woodward and Bernstein could not have done better. Thanks again Ed.
Dennis

Westminster, MA

#14 Jun 25, 2013
Ralph Wilson wrote:
Thank you for the update Ed Wiatr. Only you would have all the details and the free time to post the update. Keep up the good work. Woodward and Bernstein could not have done better. Thanks again Ed.
So what are you trying to say? NH isn't interested in ypur foolishness. Just explain why did a cash strapped library give away $16,000 to a former employee? If it is in the interest to maintaining a library then just clearly say so.
Dennis

Westminster, MA

#15 Jun 25, 2013
Dennis wrote:
<quoted text>
So what are you trying to say? NH isn't interested in ypur foolishness. Just explain why did a cash strapped library give away $16,000 to a former employee? If it is in the interest to maintaining a library then just clearly say so.
Still waiting for an intelligent, reasoned answer why a broke library should be giving money away. Now oa the time to prove your case.
Arkie Wiatrowski

Utica, NY

#16 Jun 25, 2013
Ask Ed Wiatr, he knows. Ed will soon be announcing his candidacy for Town Supervisor. I trust that he will straighten out the financial issues at the library. Local, state and federal governments need men like Ed Wiatr.
Hans and Mary

Utica, NY

#17 Jun 25, 2013
haven't you heard?
Carl Wilkinson

Utica, NY

#18 Jun 25, 2013
I understand your feelings about the $16,000 payment. Spending constraint is needed. Who were the two trustees that voted against it? We need more responsible people like them in government.
Blackhawk fan

Hampton, VA

#19 Jun 25, 2013
Carl Wilkinson wrote:
I understand your feelings about the $16,000 payment. Spending constraint is needed. Who were the two trustees that voted against it? We need more responsible people like them in government.
Ed Flemma and Ed Wiatr voted against it. Certified Public Accountant and Trustee Heather Mowat was going to vote against it but then changed her vote at the last minute. We still haven't heard any reasonable explaination why the rest of the Library Trustees voted to give the $16,000 away when the library is in financial trouble. Maybe they expect that the Town Board will provide them with additional funding to make up the differance.
Pat Jizinski

Utica, NY

#20 Jun 25, 2013
Spending Constraint??

HAHA This is New Hartford. Spend the poor taxpayers money. We'll celebrate our accomplishments by having a party at one of the board members house.

We'll be sure to invite Donna Donovan for NOT reporting any facts of her pals in what's left of the Observer-Disgrace Newspaper.

They are SO out of touch with what "real" New Hartford people want.

Maybe Romano and the crew will move to Clinton and screw up the Kirkland Library next.

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