Thursday, February 07, 2008

LANZA FAMILY FOUNDATION TO FUND SUNDAY LIBRARY HOURS/CYBERMOBILE

I am pleased to report that the Lanza Family Foundation will make a generous donation of $12,284 to the town- enabling the Greenburgh Library to resume Sunday library hours beginning March 16 (excluding summer Sundays). In addition, the Lanza Family Foundation is donating $25,000 which will be used to reactivate the cybermobile.
The Lanza Family Foundation will require the Library to provide the Foundation with detailed weekly usage reports regarding the cybermobile/Sunday hours (cost analysis, number of people who use the cybermobile/Sunday hours, etc..) The $25,000 being allocated to the cybermobile will enable the library to provide cybermobile service to the community for at least a few months.
The Sunday hours and cybermobile service was discontinued in January, 2008 by the Greenburgh Library Board. I am very grateful to the Lanza Family Foundation for their very generous donation. Many residents, especially senior citizens, have been hurt because of the cuts. Representatives of the Lanza Family Foundation met with Supervisor Paul Feiner, Town Clerk Judith Beville, Philanthropic Coordinator George Gumina and Winsome Gordon of the Philanthropic Office to discuss the terms of their generous donation.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Lanza Foundation,for their contribution.
Please find some other foundation to support the library so the residents will be left alone.
We cannot afford more tax money for a failing building.

howard jacobs should be fired said...

lets hope the current library board is replaced - this could have been done before they made their cuts. shame on you howard jacobs.

Anonymous said...

So the Library Board's extortion worked!

Anonymous said...

Haha, I was thinking the same thing as 4:29. I'm sorry to hear that the Lanza foundation fell for it, especially with so many genuine needs for such funding in the region. On the bright side, hopefully we'll now know through the detailed weekly usage reports that neither are particularly necessary for our town.

Anonymous said...

The required reports will tell us how much the cybermobile actually costs to operate.

Anonymous said...

Which way will the library board go now to seek funds that they should not get.
The people who are in charge of funding should check the true needs of any seeker.
The library personel held the town and the public hostage and someone gave them some money.
The bookmobile was held over our heads and the Lanza foundation fell for it.
How can people listen to the library pleas that they need money.
The renovations should have never been put into play because no one did their homework.
There is not enough in the fund to complete the library.
The fund raisers should give money to children who have special needs not to the library.
Thank you Lanza foundation for giving into a problem that was created by the library to extort more money from the tax payers.

Anonymous said...

WHAT'S NEXT ON THE LIBRARY'S AGENDA TO GET MORE MONEY .

hal samis said...

Howard Jacobs and the Library Board of Trustees say they love the Library yet they broke their promise to maintain the cybermobile and retain normal Library hours (including Sunday).

Paul Feiner has been characterized by them as being against the Library yet he has led the search to find outside money to return these cast off services to Library patrons.

Howard Jacobs and the Library Trustees have complained that the Library needed to have a larger brick and mortar (or glass) presence in Greenburgh; they have been promoting this for years. How much in grants and contributions have they raised in the ten years or more that they have been cajoling the Town to just write the check for this purpose?
How much have they raised?

It has not been near two months since the Library removed the cybermobile and removed Sunday hours from the existing short list of Library amenities provided during construction, that Feiner has "primed the pump" to fund these services without sticking the Town's hand deeper into taxpayer pockets.

Howard Jacobs and the Library Trustees, in a difficult Town budget year, decided to spend over $180,000 more on "library materials" than they did in 2007 because "they" knew that patrons would rather have these items available in 2009 rather than have the Library open on Sundays in 2008or continue bringing the Library to the people via the outreach of the cybermobile im 2008.

Cybermobile service and Sunday hours were provided throughout 2007when the Library budget was
$3,070,000. In 2008 the Library budget is $3,440,000. By subtraction, 2008's budget is $370,000 MORE or 12% MORE in 2008.
Even after allowing for inflation,
I don't see how anyone can believe anything that Howard Jacobs and the Library Board of Trustees say regarding their budget "problems". Call me Ishmael, but how do you call a 12% INCREASE, a budget cut? And, if you remove the cost of operating the cybermobile and Sunday, say the Howard Jacobs promoted $157,000cost for the cybermobile, then by not spending this money included in your $3,440,000, the increase is even larger.

Who do you want to believe, the facts or Howard Jacobs and the Library Board of Trustees?

They are protected by their appointments so they can't be fired. Perhaps they can be persuaded as a group to "resign"!

Library patrons, who will be able to use the cybermobile or use the Library on Sunday, should thank the Library's worst enemy, Supervisor Feiner. This would be equivalent of a mastercard moment, priceless.

juettner must go said...

once again diana juettner sat on her tuffet doing nothing while the cybermobile and sunday hours were cut. wake up greenburgh. she is collecting a paycheck for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Hal Samis and his accurate description of the Library Board and its leadership. Why aren't they out there assisting the Supervisor and finding monies to support their responsibility? Libraries are under pressure from many sectors and for many reasons. The future of books stores is even questionable. Note that Barnes & Noble and Borders are gone from Central Avenue and White Plains. People buy discount books from Amazon, and other sources, and eventually libraries could be primarily computer centers. Even though it is critical for our schools to encourage reading, that practice is declining marketly with our youth. Many things are quickly changing in this expensive society. The investment in video games is so incredibly large, it is almost indescribable. Just go look at the amount our society is spending. It is outstripping sports teams, movies, and almost every other type of entertainment. This is what interests today's youth!

Meanwhile when this current Library Board is long gone from the scene, this expensive edifice will be still standing, and the need to support its ever-increasing costs will go on and on. In a sense that is why trust funds were created for other expensive luxuries of society like museums, the opera, and theater. Don't get me wrong I indulge, when I can, in all of the above luxuries, and in fact just went to see "Ragtime" in White Plains. We are members of the Met and Natural History in New York, and therefore I feel that I pay my way.

I am all for books, and learning. My wife uses the Warner Library every week, and I am constantly reading to keep up with the intellectual and social demands our culture and society requires.

In this climate of declining revenues, and the chasm between rich and poor, we are seeing more and more pressure on government to deliver the basic services to sustain a viable community. We need a good library, along with good schools, excellent public safety, sanitation and code enforcement.

Therefore, in this emerging age, we need strong critical management, concerned with strong oversight and efficiency. I see no reason to believe that this current Library Board is creative enough to do that job. Of course I could be wrong.

I believe that the new role of the controller should be that of a special "master" who has the power, funds, and support to be constantly auditing departments for duplication and waste. In that way, public confidance will be renewed regarding the necessity of government. Also there may develop a culture of department oversight, where department heads start thinking about their budgets as if they were spending their own money.

No, government cannot be run on a "profit and loss" basis, but top managers, who understand the realities of our age should work to be more concerned with oversight, efficiency and the cutting of waste.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Paul you have done a complete turn arround as far as the library goes.
Their ship is sinking and they will bring you down too.

juettner a disaster said...

mr garfunkel omitted one crucial fact - the town board liasion to the library is one diana juettner.

she is served the town poorly in this role.

she is both deadwood and brain dead and should be replaced as soon as possible. as soon as she meets the fate of barnes and bass, things will improve.

Anonymous said...

glad that Paul is working to raise $$$$ for the library from the private sector, not from the taxpayers.

hal samis said...

Let's not forget to extend thanks to the Lanza Foundation for providing the funding that the Library Trustees could not find, either within their hearts but more logically within their 2008 budget of $3,440,000, 12% higher than 2007's budget.

Even in a town currently without a Comptroller, most citizens would recognize that an increase means more money. Whatever could the Trustees have been thinking when they told the public that their budget was cut? Clearly math is not their forte as illustrated by early on awareness that $19.8 million wouldn't be enough to deliver the promised pre-Referendum library plan. And this figure, itself, had already included an almost 19% "cushion" for inflation and contingencies.

Could it be that Howard Jacobs and the Library Trustees knew before the Referendum that the actual cost to build THAT library was nearer $25 million but they knew they would never get voter support for such a large amount. Hence the Trustees' version of $19.98 or $19.99, a penny or two short of the dreaded "T" word, Twenty Million Dollars!

Could it be that Howard Jacobs and the Library Trustees knew before the Referendum that they should have reduced the SIZE of the building to make $19.8 million work but that they decided it would be too embarrassing "politically" to admit this so they went quietly ahead as though nothing was wrong, keeping their fingers crossed for good luck.

But while we're waiting for the project to reach the finish line, let's revisit the idea of whether outside funding is needed to have the cybermobile back in operation and restore Sunday hours.

And whether the Lanza Foundation made a generous, responsive contribution -- but one that was, while always welcome, made not in full possession of all the facts.

That the Library did not need additional income to continue the cybermobile and Sunday hours. That the Supervisor (well meaning) and the Foundation (well meaning) did not fully understand the Library's story while, even if they did, that the NYS protected decision-making right of the Trustees necessitated outside financial intervention in the form of increasing the Libray's 2008 budget by other means.

Just as solicitations from the Greenburgh Library Foundation* are separately headed to the Library expansion to bail out that bad decision.

The Library Trustees made a choice to spend more on Library materials ($180,000 more than in 2007) and this amount would have been more than needed (even using Mr. Jacobs dubious $157,000 cost) but they chose (no guns held to their heads) to spend their "scant" dollars here rather than there.

But, wasn't there some surplus left in their 2007 budget? Well, let's suppose that when they learned that the Town was "grabbing" their over $400,000 Library Fund (consternation at the Library because this money {disguised in costume} was headed toward the underfunded expansion), they decided to commit the unspent 2007 balance because they likely would lose it as well.

Now depending upon whose reports you read or what you see portrayed on the blog, i.e. these reports:

Library Monthly Treasurer's Reports

Town Comptroller calculations
Town Comptroller recalculations
Town Comptroller re-recaluculations

show that the year-end surplus could be as high as several hundred thousand dollars or as low as $2,000.

The most recent calculation by the Acting Town Comptroller shows the amount rising (as more bills have emerged) instead of declining, from a low point of $2,000 to now over $30,000. My suspicion is that an examination of last minute increased spending (November, December -- well, its Christmas even at the Library) will establish that there was enough left that could have been carried over to keep the cybermobile rolling -- even after making their choice to increase Library materials spending.

But we'll probably have to wait for a new Comptroller to validate this claim. Incidentally, this is not my supposition - I'm not an acountant - but of persons more familiar with keeping books, budgeting and year end justification.

Stay tuned to new Libary postings on appropriate Blog topics headed your way.

*Contributions to the Foundation made through a former Town Board member are reduced by a 5%"commission" paid for fund-raising efforts.

Anonymous said...

Jacobs and the trustees knew dam well how much that fiasco would cost before it was presented to the residents.
If they think that they have enough money to finish they are crazy .they are looking at maybe another 10 million hike.
The money almost ran out now and they are no way finished.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen what the new library will look like????? I have an idea to raise funds. Since the new library looks like a giant ski slope, why don't we charge skiers and skate boarders to use it as a launching site????

Anonymous said...

4:04 I was thinking of putting a bid in for just that concession.
Ski slope and skate board will be a great way to make money.Yhe first in Greenburgh.