Silver Lake and Paddock Lake approve new Community Library Board arrangement

bookshelf-mf-jppi_optSilver Lake and Paddock Lake have approved a new joint operating agreement for the Community Library that will realign how Library Board members are distributed among the five member municipalities.

Both approvals came at the municipalities’ respective village board meetings Wednesday. Twin Lakes also approved the agreement Monday.

Under the new agreement, there will be a 10-member governing board with Salem having four reps, Twin Lakes having two reps and then one each for Paddock Lake, Silver Lake and Randall. There will also be one rep appointed to represent the local school districts.

The board currently has two board members from each municipality and one representing Wilmot and Central high schools.

Most members of the joint library had sought to keep the two members per municipality arrangement for the library board, despite that it appeared to violate current state statutes that required members be apportioned by population of the member municipalities. The desire to keep the two members per municipality arrangement — in place since the library’s founding in 1980 — was so strong that most of the members agreed to create a side agreement that would have Salem effectively give some of its board appointments to other municipalities to restore the two per municipality governing board.

But Paddock Lake officials objected to the side agreement because they felt it conflicted with state statutes and they sought a formal opinion from the state Department of Public Instruction. In March, Paddock Lake officials received that opinion, which said the side agreement was non-compliant.

The state Department of Public Instruction, which oversees libraries, had threatened to cut off some funding to the Community Library if the board did not come into compliance with the state statute.

“We don’t want the funding cut off for the library so we have to acquiesce,” Silver Lake village President Bruce Nopenz said.

The Salem and Randall town boards are yet to vote on the agreement.

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  1. It must be so, so rough says:

    It must be so, so rough to operate legally. (insert smirk! )

    Instead, they knowingly operated illegally since Doug Baker asked and was told by DeBacher that the contract was illegal on 24 Sep 2008 ….
    The boards; their attorneys….

    ONLY the current Paddock Lake Board is ethical, their attorney in the original mix.

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