Plan continues for local library authority

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — The Public Library moved one step closer last week to shifting from being under Wayne County Library authority and instead be under city watch.

At its Monday meeting, the City Council approved a proposed resolution that will see the formation of a City Library Board of Directors. The panel — to be appointed by Mayor Thomas Karnes and approved by council — would have “exclusive control” of library expenditures and moneys collected, contruction of buildings and supervision and care of the buildings and grounds under revised Chapter 275 of city ordinances.

A reorganization of the library first was considered last year. A millage question had been scheduled for the November general election ballot but was removed after a local library authority was established. That authority allowed city officials to levy up to 1 mill without requiring a vote.

Making the library independent of county oversight was both a cost-saving strategy for the city and as a preventative measure should the city finances be placed under state control through emergency management or consent resolution.

In August 2013 the council first declared its intent, and last week’s resolution advanced the plan by clarifying the authority of a board of directors.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)