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Merokeans to vote on library budget, trustee April 16
By Brian Racow, bracow@liherald.com
Scott Brinton/Herald
Merrick Library Board Trustee Susan Dillon is running unopposed this year. The library vote is on Tuesday, April 16, at the library.

If passed in a public vote on Tuesday, April 16, the Merrick Library's proposed budget would increase total spending by a little more than $113,000 to roughly $3.39 million, and the property-tax levy would rise by 3.45 percent, according to library officials. The tentative spending plan would slightly increase spending on materials, services and building maintenance.

The library's fiscal year begins on July 1. The budget proposal increases funding for personnel, books, magazines, databases, computers, Nassau Library System cooperative services and debt service. It decreases spending on administrative operations, videos and DVDs, books on tape and CDs, programming, printing, and inter-library loans.

The proposed 2013-14 tax levy is slightly less than the maximum amount that the library could have asked voters to approve under the state’s property-tax levy cap. The cap, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed in 2011, restricts municipalities from raising their property-tax levies by more than 2 percent from one year to the next. The library's tax-levy increase is due primarily to population growth, so it can exceed the cap, according to the law.

Library Board Trustee Susan Dillon is running for reelection unopposed. Dillon, a Brooklyn native, has resided in Merrick with her husband, Marty, for 46 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Long Island University at C.W. Post, and she has served in the past as president of the Chatterton Elementary School PTA, Merrick Avenue Middle School PTA and Merrick-North Merrick PTA Council. Dillon has worked as a teacher in a number of Long Island school districts and served as a legislative aide to Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg, of Merrick. She has served three terms on the Merrick Library Board of Trustees, is a past board president and is currently its secretary.


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The Library is not cutting programming; printing is cut and they are on the same budget line. Some of the money for materials is not just cut but reassigned to some of the popular downloadable items. Most importantly, the Merrick Library is staying under the 2% tax cap as computed by the online formula supplied by the New York State Comptroller's office. Please remember to vote.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 | Report this

I am a lifelong Merrick resident, and believe that the library has a number of great programs and staff, but lets remember that 3.45% increase in spending is WAY MORE than the rate of inflation and a sizeable increase.

I would like to have more information regarding the budget to make a more educated assessment, but didn't see it posted on the Library website. You would think that an organization dedicated to information would be able to share its budget and administrative data in a timely, easy and public basis.

I also question the long term practice of having the Board of Trustees Board & Budget Meeting the day before the vote, which gives the public little time to react or affect the proposal.

Perhaps this is also the reason for the incredibly low voter turnout.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 | Report this

Sorry for my earlier incorrect comment regarding budget posting on the website, I later did see the budget, but still agree that the spending and timing should change.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 | Report this

We always post the budget on the website at least one month in advance. In addition, all Board meetings are open to the public. Questions regarding the budget, programming, etc. can be asked at any Board meeting. The Library has a suggestion box at each public desk, and the Administration responds to all inquiries and comments, as well as suggestions. Please feel free to contact the Library Director with any concerns or issues. Thank you.

Monday, April 15, 2013 | Report this
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