Finklestein (NY) Public Library Creates, Fills Positions; Minimizes Taxpayer Cost

Alice Gomstyn, “Finkelstein (NY) library budget may increase taxes nearly 3%,” The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), April 5, 2007.

Staffing increases are driving a nearly $366,000 rise in the proposed 2007-08 operating budget for Finkelstein Memorial Library.

Hiring two staff members accounts for the bulk of the proposed budget increase. Filling an assistant library director’s position would cost about $70,000, while a new network manager—who would maintain the library’s 135 computers, wireless network, videoconferencing center and security system—would cost $60,000.

The library also seeks to hire a full-time staffer or several part-time staff to oversee the use of its technology center at a cost of $35,000.

The library’s board of trustees, which voted to adopt the budget in late February, has said the library kept taxpayer costs down by transferring $150,000 from its reserve funds into its operating budget.

Library director Bob Devino said the transfer would leave the library with less than $400,000 in reserve—about 6% of the proposed budget. Devino said that keeping reserve funds at no lower than 5% of an operating budget was considered sound economic practice.

“We had that money,” he said. “It made perfect sense to give it back to the taxpayers.”

Phyneschea Shackleford, 31, of Garnerville said she would support the budget proposal. “I think they do a good job now, but I’m sure they could use the extra money for the extra help,” she said.

The public budget hearing will be held at 8 p.m. May 29.