Cleveland Heights University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 6-17-2019

JUNE 17, 2019

 

  • Free speech and inclusion 
  • Financial report
  • State budget

 

Present were President Chris Mentrek, Vice President James Roosa, Secretary Dana Fluellen, Suzanne Moskowitz, Anne Iwamoto and Max Gerboc. Vikas Turakhia was absent.

Free speech and inclusion

The library board of trustees presented and accepted Resolution 24-2019: “Affirmation of Free Speech and Inclusion.” The resolution included statements about the public libraries’ commitment to diversity including statements that the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library reaffirms its commitment to challenging censorship in the fulfillment of its responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. It further stated that as an institution that values not merely freedom of speech but a commitment to the truth, the library strongly disapproves of the misrepresentations and spread of misinformation by Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and condemns those who would threaten any public library, physically, financially, or otherwise, because of a personal disagreement with programming decisions. The resolution concludes, “…that the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, in our commitment to reflect the diversity of origins, age, background, and views of our community, stand [sic] firmly in solidarity with our LGBTQ neighbors; …[and] remains committed to creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society, recognizing and acknowledging that we cannot achieve this through passive tolerance, but by actively combating marginalization and underrepresentation within the communities we serve.”

Members of the community testified in support of the resolution. Dara Adkison, president of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, appreciated the resolution and said libraries should always be welcoming to all. Jane Daroff, a member of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and Karen Schneiderman, a Cleveland Heights resident, both spoke in support of the resolution. Ms. Schneiderman said the comments made by Rep. Householder are not reflective of the Cleveland Heights community and it pained her to learn of them. 

Financial report

The libraries’ fiscal officer reviewed the financial statement. Total cash balances across the operating, Bauer Fund, and investment accounts at the end of May was $15,744,720.11. The board accepted the financial report. 

State budget 

On June 11, the Ohio Senate introduced its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21 state budget bill, which included an increase in the Public Library Fund (PLF) from the current level of 1.68 percent to 1.7 percent of the state's General Revenue Fund (GRF). The substitute bill includes more than 2,000 amendments (including the PLF amendments), and additional tax reform changes. The bill itself is 2,927 pages in length and the comparison document from the Legislative Services Commission is over 600 pages. The senate leadership utilized the Office of Budget and Management (OBM)'s revenue estimates in creating their budget and is expecting overall increases in state revenues. Based on their estimates, setting the PLF at 1.7 percent will generate the following in each year of the biennium: 

  • FY 20: $422.3 million
  • FY 21: $430.0 million 

Library Director Nancy Levine presented this report.

LWV observer, Khaliah Fisher-Grace

To receive email postings of full reports, send an email to heights@lwvgreatercleveland.org or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase. 

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 1:31 PM, 08.02.2019