Village Board Poised to Cut Library Funding

Dispute continues between trustees and library board over 2012 budget.

The came a step closer to forcing the to use its own money to service its debt rather than rely on funds from the Village’s general fund at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. 

At its last meeting Oct. 18, the Board suggested the Library pay $488,000 of its debt service from its reserves rather than Glenview’s general fund. Library President M. David Johnson was strongly opposed and remained so Tuesday. 

“As a Village Board you have the authority to reduce the library’s tax levy by fiat,” Johnson said. “Should you elect to do so the library will have to reduce its budget to match the reduced levy. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming the budget will automatically be a reduction of our fund balance.” 

Johnson further threatened to cut other expenses rather than reduce the fund balance if the Village Board takes what he considers arbitrary action. 

The issue will come to a head at the Board’s next meeting Nov. 15 when it passes Glenview’s 2012 budget. At that time the Village could refuse to fund a portion of the library’s debt service forcing the library to use its fund balance or reduce services. 

The library board will meet again next week to further discuss its budget. At that time it will prepare a final proposal for the Village Board. 

Meanwhile, the Village will have two proposals ready Nov. 15. One will reduce the library’s funding if the Trustees are not pleased with the final result from the library board. 

A majority of the trustees are ready to require the library to pay the $488,000 of debt service out of its fund balance. Though the library has reserves in excess of $2 million, it could cut expenses in other areas to meet its debt service rather than reduce its excess. 

“Because they have sufficient funds I would look to the library to make that 25 percent debt service amount this year,” Village President Kerry Cummings said. “We did not think there would be this kind of opportunity for the library to contribute to its own success.” 

In addition to Cummings, Trustees Deborah Karton, Paul Detlefs and Scott Britton were in complete agreement. Trustee Philip O’C. White wants the library to bear at least part of the burden. Trustee Pat Cuisinier is willing to make the contribution this year but not in the future.

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