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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PPL: All Ayes For Carpenter’s Plan

The Plattsburgh Public Library Board of Trustees held a special meeting to consider alternative budget plans intended to prevent employee layoffs.

"From the common sense point of view and the ethical point of view, if there is a way, we have to find a way, to give four people who have been faithful servants not a Christmas present that says 'We're dumping you.'" – Harold Brohinsky, PPL Board of Trustees member

PLATTSBURGH CITY – Tuesday evening, 12/20/11

After comparing two alternative budget proposals the Plattsburgh Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the one put together by Tim Carpenter.

Due to a budget shortfall the board had recommended on December 5th to cut four positions. Since that time library supporters have rallied and voiced their concerns, resulting in the formation of an ad hoc committee that met the previous night to listen to plans being offered by the local AFSCME union and city councilor Carpenter who is also the Common Council library liaison.

The deciding factor between the two plans was that Carpenter’s had a longer range and could provide stability beyond next year.

Board president Roland Lockwood felt the AFSCME union proposal only provided a short term solution with its year and a half contract; the board needed longer than that to get the library back in the shape it should be in.

While not favoring the AFSCME plan, trustee Harold Brohinksy said the union proposal was an excellent contribution in that it showed the union had a strong commitment to make sacrifices.

After the vote trustee Sally McSweeny said: "We should note that this vote [in favor of Carpenter's plan] is contingent upon receiving a union memorandum of understanding prior to December 28th and if not we have already voted in previous meetings to reduce staff... and it's also contingent on the city council voting on [December] 28th to kick in [additional funding]."

While the employees slated for layoff are glad there’s a positive initiative to save their jobs, there are still factors that might affect the outcome.

December 28th quickly approaches.

Tim Carpenter will report to the Common Council tomorrow evening regarding the results of his plan. The weekly council meeting has been moved up one day due to the holidays to Wednesday, December 21st. It starts at 5 PM with a work session and then the regular meeting follows at 5:30 PM in City Hall.


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