Morris library director resigns

Waltermire's resignation is effective Sept. 1

Published: Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Just about two weeks after the Morris Area Public Library decided to cut its assistant director position, Director Kyla Waltermire’s resignation was accepted by the library board.

Waltermire submitted her letter of resignation to the board Aug. 12. It was officially approved during the board’s regular meeting Wednesday.

The board also accepted the immediate resignation of two of its trustees: Jeanne Talarico and Sam Wilcock.

President Jo Dergo read their letters aloud, but they did not share specific reasons for their resignations.

Waltermire’s resignation is effective Sept. 1. Assistant Director Debbie Griggs’ last day at the library will be Aug. 30. The board approved paying Griggs for 21 days in September, 17 days of which would be vacation time and four would be paid as work days.

The reduction in force, plus other changes approved earlier this month, were done in effort to save the library’s financial situation, which is suffering because of decreasing EAV.

“It has been my great pleasure and honor to serve the Morris Area Public Library District for the past five and a half years,” Waltermire said in her letter.

“Not unlike the planning we have been doing for the library, I have also been reflecting upon my own professional and personal objectives for the future. This has been a difficult process as I have been torn between my affinity for the library and my own growth and self-satisfaction,” she stated in the letter.

Waltermire did not want to comment further on her reason for leaving. In her letter she highlighted some of the accomplishments at the library she is proud were done during her time, including the creation and growth of adult and teen programs and the implementation of a free e-book service.

The board discussed looking for an interim director to give the board guidance as it prepares to find another director. In the meantime, department heads will be relied upon, Trustee Sue Williams said, specifically adult service department manager Nancy Wilson and children’s librarian Carol Hutchings.

Waltermire said she would reach out to some retirees and others who may be interested in helping the board out in the interim.

“We will set up a date to talk to the whole staff,” Dergo said.

At a special meeting earlier this month, the board approved some cuts and new ways to increase revenue.

The library’s financial projections are diminishing because of falling equalized assessed values decreasing property tax revenues in the county. Like the area schools’, the library’s budget is suffering.

The library currently has a deficit budget, but has money to work with due to rollover funds. In addition to declining EAV, the library received an unexpected increase in its health insurance costs, as well as other increases.

With cutting the assistant director position, the board also previously approved reducing the books budget by $10,000, the database budget by $2,000, and the architect and engineering line item by half to $2,500. In addition, the board will be reinstating a $1 fee to rent new movie DVDs from the library Oct. 1.

Wednesday the board approved filing positions that open up on a case by case basis.

The board did receive some good news, Waltermire said after hearing of the library’s financial situation, the library’s landscaper, Branstin Lawn Care, will now do the library’s maintenance work pro bono. The board did not state what this savings would be, but the last bill to be paid to the company this month is $907.

Anyone interested in the open board trustee positions can contact the library at 815-942-6880.

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