Library Board to Focus on Budget, Tax Vote

The Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control yesterday discussed organizing a process to search for and hire a new permanent director, but then realized that if the do-over of the property tax election in October were unsuccessful, there would be no need for a director.

Board member Amy Miller said that it would be difficult to recruit people when passage of a tax for funding salaries wasn’t a sure thing.

Said Miller, “I’d rather be ready to go – our taxes are approved” before opening the application process.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury President Richard Durrett, who will also serve as the jury’s representative on the board, said the first thing to focus on was to establish a budget and tax rate that voters would accept.

“What this body’s got to do is finalize a budget and come up with a millage,” he said.

Board Chair Augusta Clark hinted that budget cuts were likely.

“We already know that we have to make some revisions and some ‘paring down’ with some things. We’re going to be very realistic about it, because, you know, the public has sent us a message,” she said.

The board did approve a 10% percent salary increase for the Interim Director, from $48.5 thousand to $53.35 thousand. That salary is temporary and will revert to the lower amount whenever a permanent director is hired, and she resumes her duties as Materials Manager.

Also, the board discussed Information Technology support, and the need to contract that service to a local company, rather than from a company not located in Lincoln Parish.

Said board member Sandra Dupree, “People in Lincoln Parish are the ones who are responsible for this library. I could not understand why we would have gone outside of our parish to someone else.”

3 Responses to “Library Board to Focus on Budget, Tax Vote”

  1. Common Sense Says:

    I think the library got caught in the Lincoln Parish Tax Revolt.

    After numerous tax increases in the last few years the library was the “book that broke the back” of the taxpayer. Of course like all government agencies the only checks and balances is the voters. Politicians will always spend (tax) more and more as long as we the voter allows it. This was a wake up call for Lincoln Parish Officials. The voters spoke and from the comments at the library board of control the board members are listening. If the library tax isn’t passed in October, it is my understanding the library will close. So now the board members are talking about reducing expenses “paring down” and establishing a millage that will be acceptable to the people.

    Honestly, I hope this is just the beginning of the voter holding their elected officials fiscally accountable. I am not against all taxes but I am against over-taxation and abuse of the taxpayer’s money.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The library has never had to manage its money nor pinch pennies. I seem to recall they discarded an information desk that cost tens of thousands because they wanted to go a different route. They have spent hefty amounts to bring entertainers to the events center. The excessive staff is another example. Why can’t staff that’s playing on the internet get up and re-shelve books rather than hire people specifically for that job? Pare the staff through attrition by a third and spend frugally and they can probably come up with a millage rate we can support.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Learned that a third of Louisiana parish library directors do not meet the certification criteria laid out in an earlier post. In other words, we don’t have to hire a state-certified librarian who doesn’t have effective people and management skills. We can hire someone who has shown they can manage people and operate an organization effectively.

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