Randall seeking assurance Twin Lakes-Randall library branch will continue

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via morgueFile.com

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via morgueFile.com

Randall Town Board members want some reassurance that the Twin Lakes-Randall branch of the Community Library will remain if they approve a new library operating agreement that gives a lopsided presence on the governing board to Salem.

Randall will be having their attorney draft a memo of understanding to be submitted to all of the Community Library municipalities saying a library branch will remain in Twin Lakes.

The board on Thursday tabled a vote on the new agreement until they could consider it along with the branch memo of understanding.

All five of the Community Library municipalities — Salem, Twin Lakes, Paddock Lake, Randall and Silver Lake — have been considering a new joint operating agreement that realigns the membership on the governing board to meet current state statutes, which call for membership to be apportioned by municipal population. Since its founding in the 1980s, the Community Library board has had two members from each municipality.

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. The desire to keep the two members per municipality arrangement 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.

“I thought that (the side agreement)  was a good thing,” Randall Chairman Bob Stoll said.

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.

The new agreement will give Salem four board members, Twin Lakes two board members and one each for Paddock Lake, Silver Lake, Randall and area school districts, for a total of 10 members.

Randall officials seemed resigned to accepting the new board apportionment.

“This issue never goes away,” said Stoll. “I’d like to see this just finalized. This has been going on so long.”

When Stoll asked for the opinion of Plan Commission member Ken Mangold, a former member of the library board, he expressed dissatisfaction with the new board arrangement.

“I think this will  clearly create a case of taxation without representation,” Mangold said.

Mangold then suggested getting some kind of assurance on the continuation of the Twin Lakes-Randall area branch in light of the power Salem will now wield on the board. The other library branch is in Salem. If Salem board members decided to close the Twin Lakes branch, “we’d be powerless to do anything about it.”

Twin Lakes, Paddock Lake and Silver Lake have approved the new agreement. Salem has not yet considered the agreement at a meeting.



  1. taxation withou representation? says:

    Such taxation without representation has been occurring in Salem for as long as this illegal contract has been in place. Randall has had more than and will have more than they are allowed even with the new plan. In addition, with the next census, this representation will likely change again. Interestingly, the school districts continue to have alternating representation. OLD CONCEPT, from when the high schools did not yet have a library. Now, both do and we are taxed additionally for that ‘department’. If one gets to it, the school representation is a ‘give’ by the DPI and isn’t really necessary. I’d be more apt to think that Salem should have 5, not the 4 that has been bandied about. So, taxation without representation will still prevail. Randall should collect funds from their populace and build their building – like Salem did; not thru tax payer monies for ongoing rental. Randall and Twin Lakes and Silver Lake should BUY something. Everyone knows that prudency would point to a purchase rather than forever renting! Mangold! SMH!
    The Community Library does not need Randall. They though, need the Community Library.

  2. You don't get a choice says:

    What gets me about these town and village boards voting on this “New Agreement” is that you really don’t get to vote at all. This is a statute that is and has been mandated by the state whether you like it or not.

    Twin Lake residents needn’t be scared of us here in Salem, we’re the ones that have been violating the statute all these years on purpose. We could have done this years ago and didn’t. Heck we even wanted to keep it going until another member thought twice.

    So take your Memorandum of Understanding and shove it back in your file cabinet because if you think about it, it is or will be just as illegal and the so-called “side agreement” was.

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