Homewood library welcomes new trustees, postpones contract OK

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Homewood library welcomes new trustees, postpones contract OK

May 20, 2019 - 20:14
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  Newly elected Homewood Public Library trustees
  Tim Martin and Nancy Gildart prepare to take the
  oath of office administered by Adrienne River who is
  serving as the board's president. Not pictured is
  trustee Tom Nowak who won re-election to the board. 
  
(Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
 
Tim Martin and Nancy Gildart were officially sworn in May 15 as the newest members of the Homewood Public Library board of trustees. 
 
Martin won a six-year term, and Gildart will serve for two years. Current member Tom Nowak was also sworn in. He won a six-year term.
 
The board also reorganized and selected Adrienne River to serve as president for the next year with Jacoba Ward as vice president, George Bouchie board secretary and Tom Nowak as treasurer.
 
The board tabled action on an employee contract negotiated by the American Federal of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union. In a statement the board said it did not take action because of “questions and concerns raised by AFSCME representation” prior to the meeting “and the board does not have a copy of the ratified contract.”
 
Library employees organized three years ago after they had two hours cut from their schedules. The agreement was unanimously ratified by AFSCME members on May 15. According to Sandy Sullivan, union representative, the deal includes a restoration of the cut hours, and that will then restore vacation, holiday and personal days for staff working fewer than 18 hours. 
 
The two-year deal also gives staff a 2 percent salary increase each year. 
 
The board reviewed its estimated $2.3 million budget for 2020. The board is still waiting for final assessment numbers from Cook County. The final budget will be adopted at the June meeting. The fiscal year starts July 1. 
 
The board expects $1.5 million in personnel costs, including salaries, benefits and retirement. The budget shows nearly $111,000 for library services covering everything from the card catalog fees, to programming to photocopier rentals.
 
The $45,000 annual contract between Homewood and the East Hazel Crest library board was not renewed. East Hazel Crest decided to partner with the Thornton Library at a lower cost.
 
The board will be making the final $140,000 bond payment that financed the second-floor remodeling project. The board also expects to reduce its attorney fees by half to $15,000 now that the AFSCME contract is drafted. Switching the liability insurance provider saved $5,000. But, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund assessment went up by more than three percent.
 
The board is allocating $100,000 from special reserves for new carpeting.
 
The board hopes to allocate $50,000 as contingency funds. It has little money in that fund now and the library’s acting director Kathy Parker said this will help re-establish a library savings account.