Services Departments Government

Library District Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
Gladstone City Hall

Attendance

Advisory Committee Members Present

Advisory Committee Members Absent

Others Present

Vacant

Proceedings

LDAC Chair George Hoyt called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m.

Bill Baars made a motion to approve the 1/14/16 minutes. Sandy Nelson seconded. The motion passed with no opposition.

Greg Williams reviewed the current voting membership of LDAC, and provided information on two in-process appointments (Katie Lewis, Gladstone and Connie Redmond, Estacada). 

Chair Hoyt asked members and attendees to introduce themselves.

Chair Hoyt began a discussion about allocated costs charged by Library Cities to Libraries. Chair Hoyt read a portion of section 2.1 of the Library District Master IGA concerning the use of District funds as related to general overhead or administrative costs. Chair Hoyt then gave a brief history of the work an LDAC subcommittee had done in 2014 to gather and compile data about allocated charges. Chair Hoyt shared data the group had prepared, and noted some of the challenges the subcommittee had experienced in gathering the data.

Chair Hoyt noted that some cities contribute funds in excess of district funds, and that sometimes these contributions offset the amount of allocated charges. Chair Hoyt noted that it can be difficult to determine exactly what portion of allocated charges relate to direct functioning of the library. Chair Hoyt realized that direct cost accounting for allocated charges might not be feasible, but that the subcommittee felt that a model where Cities make contributions from the general fund to offset allocated charges might be a model to consider.

Doris Grolbert pointed out some possible errors in the subcommittee’s spreadsheet. She recounted that when the district went on the ballot and when the IGA was later written, allocated costs were specifically allowed. Doris pointed out that some allocation models are better than others, and that the costs of utilizing some cost accounting models can be burdensome.

Bill Baars commented that LDAC, as an advisory committee, would not be able to require alternate allocation models, and that individual cities would not have the desire to question other cities’ allocation models. As the advisory committee, the action LDAC can take is to present information to the District Board. If a specific community feels that allocated charges need to be adjusted, that could be handled as a local issue. LDAC, however, might not be the body to decide what a fair allocated cost might be.

Chair Hoyt agreed that direct tracking of all costs might be burdensome, and again mentioned the subcommittee’s idea that cities contributing additional funds to offset allocated charges might be a simple methodology to address the issue. Doris pointed out that not all cities have similar resources, tax bases, tax rates, assessed values, etc… These cities might not be able to provide contributions to offset allocated charges. Doris feels that in her city she receives value for her allocated costs. “Maintenance of Effort” requirements were not in the ballot measure nor the IGA. 

Bill again suggested sending information to the District Board for their review. 

Maureen Cole asked if it was a fair assumption that when costs were allocated to city departments (including the library), they were allocated to other city departments in an evenhanded fashion. Irene Green and Doris mentioned that in their cities, this was the case.

Sandy Nelson mentioned a case, however, when the Molalla Library’s allocated costs increased as a result of the closing of the adult center. Costs went up for all city departments, and in that situation, it doesn’t seem like it was a direct cost. Sandy asked whether or not the IGA required that allocated charges be direct costs.

George expressed concern that when the library is treated as a city department, but the city does not fund it as a department, the library becomes a revenue source for the city as a whole. Doris wondered if that was oversimplified, as she does receive services and support for her allocated costs without which she could not operate a library. George understood, but wondered if allocations were always fair. He felt that allocations force a focus on cost avoidance, and a shift away from focusing on the mission of the library. George pointed out that the IGA, regardless of intent, specifies that district funds will be used for direct costs, and not used to absorb costs from other departments.

Bill then made a motion to “send the County Commissioners this information [e.g., the subcommittee’s allocated cost information/report], as corrected, along with the ballot measure language and the IGA as an informational first step.” Mo seconded. 

There was some discussion of whether or not to delay voting on the motion. Jeff Bornefeld felt that a vote should not be taken until the composition of LDAC reflected the language of Measure 3-310. He requested his objection be noted. The motion passed, as follows: 

Member Library Vote
John Smith Canby Public Library Absent
Jeff Bornefeld Clackamas County Library - Oak Lodge Abstain – including an objection the vote was not valid as the current composition of LDAC does not reflect the language of Measure 3-310.
Michele Kinnamon Estacada Public Library Yes
Steve Johnson Gladstone Public Library Yes
Bill Baars Lake Oswego Public Library Yes
Karol Miller Ledding Library of Milwaukie Yes
Sandy Nelson Molalla Public Library No
Maureen (Mo) Cole Oregon City Public Library Yes
George Hoyt Sandy Public Library No
Doug Erickson West Linn Public Library Absent
Caroline Berry Wilsonville Public Library Yes

Greg discussed initial responses to the Doodle poll on availability going forward. A second Doodle poll (with the three most popular meeting date options) will be sent out again to voting members.

Pat Duke, Wilsonville Library Director, presented a proposal for a modified Library progress report form. He gave information on reporting practices, what data gets reported to the state, and to the County/District. Based on discussions from previous meetings, Pat examined Appendix C of the IGA, and modified the progress report form to include some items from Appendix C, and to remove some items which were not part of Appendix C (or were too subjective to quantify). The new sheet contains items referred to by the IGA (open hours, staffing, and collections). Pat also added areas where budgetary information could be reported (e.g., district revenue, operational support from the city, allocated costs, deductions for reserves, etc…).

A grammatical change was suggested to revise one section of text to read “Please explain any progress made in the above areas.”

Bill made a motion to approve the document, as amended. Caroline seconded. The motion passed as follows:

Member Library Vote
John Smith Canby Public Library Absent
Jeff Bornefeld Clackamas County Library - Oak Lodge Abstain – including an objection the vote was not valid as the current composition of LDAC does not reflect the language of Measure 3-310.
Michele Kinnamon Estacada Public Library Yes
Steve Johnson Gladstone Public Library Yes
Bill Baars Lake Oswego Public Library Yes
Karol Miller Ledding Library of Milwaukie Yes
Sandy Nelson Molalla Public Library Yes
Maureen (Mo) Cole Oregon City Public Library Yes
George Hoyt Sandy Public Library Yes
Doug Erickson West Linn Public Library Absent
Caroline Berry Wilsonville Public Library Yes

Library Reports

There was one question from the audience about the process of appointing LDAC members. Greg explained the process, including the need for him to receive some sort of official notification from the city’s authorized appointing authority. 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:04 p.m.

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