Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 5-16-2022
MAY 16, 2022
- Public comments
- Board resolutions highlights
- Personnel report
- Public service report highlights
Present were President Gabe Crenshaw, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Annette Iwamoto, Tyler McTigue, and Vikas Turakhia. Vice President Max Gerboc was not present.
Chuck Collins gave an update to the board on the collection services department.
Coventry PEACE Campus (CPC) board president Krista Hawthorne presented a written statement to the board opposing the library’s entering into a contract with Cresco Real Estate/Playhouse Square Management as property manager at 2843 Washington Blvd. According to Ms. Hawthorne’s written statement “the signing of a contract with Cresco Playhouse Square will have a negative effect on the Coventry PEACE Campus, and we are asking that instead, you grant the long-term lease we all agreed to in October of 2020, or sell us the building. We urge you to come back to the negotiating table with Coventry PEACE so that both our organizations can get back to what we each do best….” Hawthorne also noted the library’s repeated refusals to meet with CPC in a meaningful way and stated that CPC has met the criteria stated in the governing document to allow conversion to a long-term lease. Nine additional community residents and CPC tenant artists also spoke (in two-minute time allocations) in opposition to the board’s property management agreement. Among the concerns shared were the fear that the property might be converted into condos, the ways in which the community and children in particular would be negatively affected by lack of art services and events, the economic contributions of CPC on area businesses, and a lack of opportunity for meaningful discussion on this issue. Speakers also stated appreciation for library services to the community.
Board resolutions highlights
The board unanimously approved a contract with Cresco Real Estate/Playhouse Square Management to be the exclusive managing and listing agent for the building at 2843 Washington Blvd. The board authorized the fiscal officer to pay CRESCO the initial startup fee of $2,750, as well as the Property Management Fee of $2,750 per month for the one-year Term, for a total amount for property management services not to exceed $36,000. Each board member present gave a statement about their rationale for their vote of approval. All stated that tearing down the CPC building and converting to condos is not under consideration. The board members spoke about their fiduciary trustee responsibility to the library, the issues in selling property between a public agency and a private group, the repairs that are still needed to the building that have not been paid by CPC, the fact that CPC had not shown financial viability and the ability to achieve independent economic sustainability for the long term, and other concerns. Board members stated they had independently read and reviewed every document and email and came to this decision on their own. Board members also stated that they wanted CPC to succeed.
The board approved a resolution that “Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Library Trustees stands in solidarity with the Cleveland Heights – University Heights Board of Education and strongly opposes Ohio House Bill 616.” The resolution stated “The Library is concerned that HB 616 seeks to limit candid conversations about race and gender identity in our schools, spaces in which all children should feel safe and welcome.”
The board approved the purchase of Maker Flex Tables for the HKIC and divider walls for meeting rooms at Lee Road library, construction of additional study rooms at the Lee Road library, landscaping at the University Heights branch, and a contract with Bostwick Design Partnership to provide professional design services as the architect of record for the Noble branch renovation and addition.
The board approved a contract with the Hodge group to prepare plans for a redesign of the Coventry PEACE Park and playground construction.
The board changed masking requirements. Masks are voluntary for staff. Consumption of food and beverages will be allowed as of May 19, 2022 until such time as masking may be reinstated for customers.
Laurie Marotta reviewed outcome data related to job sourcing efforts. Indeed was the main source of job applications. As of the end of April, 248 new applications were received for 10 jobs advertised. Nearly all applicants were from Ohio. Board member McTigue asked that further geographic breakdown data be provided for Ohio.
Public service report highlights
Kim DeNero-Ackroyd shared the 2021 strategic plan annual report, which lists library activities and progress toward each of the following goals: 1) foster diversity, equity and inclusion, 2) promote safety and security for the community, 3) facilitate communication and be a bridge builder for community concerns, and 4) be a bedrock for community workforce development.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:30 p.m. at the Lee Road library.
LWV Observer: Elizabeth M. Tracy.
Information about the board, board meeting minutes and audio recordings of board meetings can be found at https://heightslibrary.org/locations/heights-libraries-board/
League of Women Voters
Chair, Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland