Library Budget Vote and Board of Trustees Election

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Library Budget Vote and Board of Trustees Election

Board Candidates:

  • Robert S. Doherty
  • Marie Gavazzi
  • Michelle Heyward-Cooper
  • Kersten Lorcher
  • Tiffany Morgan
  • J. Keith Slupski

Candidates’ Biography Information

 

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Library Absentee Ballot

Absentee Ballots

Voters must apply for an absentee ballot.  Applications may be picked up at the Main Library or the Lansingburgh Branch.  Once the application is completed you can receive your ballot by either mailing the application back to the library or by bringing it in to either location.  We must receive all applications by Wednesday, September 18th.  Ballots need to be postmarked no later than the day before the election, September 23, 2019.

Print out the Absentee Ballot Application (right click and “Save As” to download and print the ballot)

 

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Proposed Budget for 2020

The 2020 operating budget of the library includes a 6.2% increase to the library tax levy, which is estimated to add $4.00 to the average residential property tax in the city. Increased staffing costs, increases to the price of books and other materials and the cost of maintaining library facilities are all driving the need for the library to request this level of increase from residents and businesses in our district. The Board of Trustees and I are aware of the fact that the burden of local property taxes falls primarily on residents, but are also mindful of the fact that library service is an important part of the fabric of our community.

The Troy Public Library actively pursues grant opportunities to help with the costs of providing quality library service. This year we finished up a project at our Lansingburgh Branch with a state Public Library Construction grant of $210,000 to replace and/or restore all the windows in the building as well as replace all three entrance/exit doors and rebuild and improve access to the basement.

We anticipate beginning work on the Main Library this coming year with a $208,000 Public Library Construction grant from the New York State Education Department and also with a State and Municipal Facilities Program grant of $125,000, which we received thanks to the help of State Legislature Assembly Member John McDonald. Along with a number of program-related grants this year, the library received a grant from the McCarthy Charities which will allow us to purchase additional equipment including hot spots to help close the digital divide and provide internet access to our community.

Salaries at the Troy Pubic Library still fall behind area and state libraries of comparable size, resulting in significant and sustained turnover at our library. The salary and employee benefit line has been increased by 3.7%, which accounts for implementation of a revised salary schedule, as well as increases in the cost of health insurance, for which the library pays 50% of the employee’s premium. By retaining staff, the library can concentrate more on providing quality service to the community and spend less time on searching for and training new staff members.
We ask that you support this 2020 budget proposal in the upcoming library election.

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Board of Trustee Candidates

  • Robert S. Doherty: I was attracted to Troy in 2007 by our cultural diversity, older housing stock and the energy of downtown revitalization. I bought an 1883 two story Victorian on Tibbits Avenue near Troy High School.

    I received a Bachelor’s degree at NYU, a Masters at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work and spent a 42 year career in Hospital based Behavioral Health Addiction and Psychiatric Services in leadership positions. This administrative level leadership of rehabilitation services developed my skills in budgeting, establishing and administering clinical programming, and as well as networking with the community and other service systems. I worked in NYC, Rochester and in the Capital District at St. Peter’s Hospital. as Executive Director of SPARC. I was the Troy City Councilman in the downtown a district 2012-2017.

    If elected, I will be an active trustee with regular attendance of the board and committee meetings. My work practices are to thoroughly examine all issues, opinions and data and contribute support and direction as needed. I would do so in a respectful objective manner.

    My participation will support he library’s staff’s delivery of quality services and community enriching activities and offerings.

  • Marie Gavazzi: I have the experience of serving three years as a library trustee and have been the president for the last year. I’m running again because there is much more that I want to accomplish. I have been using the Troy library for decades. I chose to live in the downtown because of the easy access to the library. The nature of my usage has changed with the times, but I’m still passionate about the library, the Troy heritage that it represents, its buildings, and its offerings.

    I’ve been described as a jack of all trades. Using computers professionally has led to my proficiency in the digital world. My MBA degree provides me with a wide knowledge base on which to draw, including the important area for the library of finance. My education and professional experience have instilled me with solid research and analytical skills. I’m an enthusiastic listener and an information accumulator. These characteristics mesh well with my penchant for problem solving. I particularly enjoy the synergy of working as part of a team. With these strengths, I can contribute not only my own insights to the issues confronting the library, but will go to great lengths to incorporate those of other Trojans as well.

    I’m an energetic Troy supporter, actively involved in a number of Troy civic, historical, and environmental efforts. What I’ve found to be most valuable, particularly in my role as board president, is my proclivity for developing a community network on which I can rely for the benefit of the library. Also essential is that I’m able and committed to provide the time required with our small board.

    I hope that you’ll let me continue to help make the choices that will set the direction for our library in these evolving times.

  • Michelle Heyward-Cooper: I was raised by my mom here in Troy and she instilled in me my love of reading. We had very little money, but we always had books. I remember being a young girl and her bringing me to the Troy Public Library for Storytime. The building was HUGE and so lovely; to a little girl’s eyes, it was a magical escape filled with endless adventures. As I got older, it was where I went to research papers and where my mom and I went to use a computer, find tax forms, or check out a new novel.

    I earned my BA in English from SUNY Albany and later moved to San Diego, CA, where I earned my MA in Counseling Psychology from National University. After my mother’s death, I chose to follow my heart back to Troy, where I have lived since 2000. I worked for 15 years in child welfare and for the past four years, I’ve worked in the data shop at NYS Department of Education. My husband and I live with our three rescue dogs and three cats near Frear Park and are thrilled at the new energy infusing our city.

    Being elected to the Board of Trustees would be an honor and allow me to give back to my community in a way that is close to my heart. I have the time and energy to devote to learning the needs of the Library and how best to provide services for the community. I work effectively as part of a team and am comfortable asking questions, making data-informed decisions and understanding that moving forward often involves compromise. I want to ensure that the Library will continue to be a place of wonder and imagination for young people in Troy and a resource for all in our community.

  • Kersten Lorcher: is an architect living and practicing in Troy, NY with more than 25 years of experience in renovation of historic buildings and the public bidding process. Ongoing projects include renovations of the Troy Public Schools.

    In addition to being an architectural gem, the downtown Troy Public Library has served our family as a source for children’s books, CD’s, classic novels, the newest hardbacks and tax forms as well as being a copy center and a civic gathering space for community meetings. For our children, walks to the Library are not only fond early memories but, 25 years later, are still part of their lives.

    I am a firm believer in the need for an open, accessible and public library providing a wide range of services as part of a vibrant community and an informed democracy. The Library serves the entire public of today as well as being a part of the historic legacy of Troy and Lansingburgh. I believe I can make positive contributions to the Library as a member of the Board of Trustees by learning about the challenges and opportunities of the Library, keeping an open mind about potential solutions and making decisions based on input from stake holders and long term goals.

  • Tiffany Morgan: Tiffany is a Small Business and Entertainment attorney practicing in the Troy, NY area. Tiffany earned her BA from St John’s University in 2009 where she majored in legal studies, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 2017 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2018. As a college grad and former law student, she is very fond of libraries since they have been her second home for over the last 8+ years. She is excited to be apart of the Library Board, where she will strive to make the Troy Public Library, the best “second home” for the residents of Troy.
  • J. Keith Slupski: I’m a South Troy homeowner who attended Troy Public Schools, graduated w/ B.A.’s in Political Science and Public Administration from St. Leo, and earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Marist. I’m employed by NYS in systems support. I worked in the food and beverage industry in Troy. I’m a retired Army National Guard NCO. I have leadership & board experience in several volunteer roles. I’m running to serve on the Troy Public Library board because I believe in the mission of the library as a repository of human knowledge and a vehicle to share that knowledge freely with all our neighbors. I benefitted throughout my youth and formal education by having the library as a means to explore, a research asset, and link to other libraries. I wish to have a first class Troy Public Library available for us and future generations.  I’m cognizant of what it takes to keep an organization on mission, the costs of doing it right, and aware of the impact our library has on our lives, our taxes, and the desirability of our city.
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