Library takes on City Council
Wed, 03/13/2019 - 1:29pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Lime Springs - Eddie Miller, president of the Lime Springs Public Library Board, had some remarks to make to City Council at its March 5 meeting. He asked if Council wanted to go into closed session in regards to issues the Library Board has with the City.
Mayor Kevin Bill said, “We do not have to go into closed session.”
Miller then asked, “Are you willing to hear our issues?”
Both sides agreed.
Miller stated, “On two different occasions, the library board met with the town council in good faith to resolve issues we had with the city clerk. At these meetings, it was resolved that there were no personal problems between our director of the library and the city clerk.”
Over the past several months, many issues were brought before the council in open and closed sessions, some of which were resolved, others were not.
For general information, the library is different from other departments under any city’s umbrella. It is not governed by the city. It is governed by the state and must abide by those rules.
One of the issues brought before the council was in regards to a double payment from the library’s account, which has been resolved.
Another issue that has been settled is the Library no longer has to bring a cashier’s check to the city clerk to deposit funds. Council person Jimmy Miller suggested having two signatures when money is transferred, the one giving and the one receiving, or to make out a receipt.
The clerk has been charging time to the library for treasurer’s work being done. Miller stated, “Why are we being charged for a mistake you made?”
Clerk Rhonda Klapperich explained she had to make calls to the state in order to see how to handle an overpayment. “I charged the library for time spent.”
The clerk also paid bills from the library account that came to her desk in regards to the library the Library Board did not know about beforehand.
Both parties then looked to City Attorney Thais Folta. She quoted that Iowa Code states the job of the President of the Library Board is to order bills to be paid. The clerk writes the checks, and the Council doesn’t have any authority on what checks were written. “State law requires you [the council] to have the council’s treasurer (City Clerk) pay the bills. The treasurer cannot pay bills not authorized by the (Library) board.”
Bill then stated, “I will direct council to look at the budget for the library next year. We’re trying to keep everyone on the same playing field.” He later indicated he may suggest to council about giving each department the same funds for their budgets.
When asked for clarification on the clerk charging time and billing the library, Thais stated, “The clerk is mandated [by the state to pay the bills], so there should be no charge for library work performed.”
She also said the council could not mandate the library to have a time clock, which was another bone of contention. At one of their board meetings, Miller stated the council liaison addressed the board. “At the last meeting of the library board, we were told by Brian Johnson that the City Council demanded that we have a time clock. We, the library board, stressed we have no need for a time clock, with only three personnel and no other cities in the county had time clocks.”
Miller went on to say the city clerk told the library board there were no discrepencies in the time cards.
In addition, he stated, “In conclusion, we have come to city council to get resolutions, and we got retributions. Let’s stop the nonsense and help us to be compliant with our issues.”
In the end, the library will be reimbursed for bills given them regarding city clerk’s time; the clerk will only pay the bills authorized by the library board; the library will not have to get a time clock; the new Library liaison will be Brad Johnson; and the council will re-evaluate the city budget for the library for FY 2021.