James Johnson, Jr., Chair
 
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
James Martin, Jr., Vice-Chair
William Scheuerle, Secretary
 
Phone: (813) 273-3660
Fax: (813) 273-3707

Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Board

MINUTES FROM THE DECEMBER 4, 2003 PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
JOHN F. GERMANY PUBLIC LIBRARY, 4-6PM

CALL TO ORDER:

Ms. Vickers called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. A quorum was present.

ROLL CALL AND ATTENDANCE OF STAFF & SPECIAL GUESTS:

Library Board Members Present:
Laura Vickers, Helen Swisshelm
Kay O'Rourke, Ted Corwin
Sandra Cameron, Dora Reeder
James Martin, Margaret Fisher
William Scheuerle, James Harkins

Library Board Excused:
Alma Hires

Jim Johnson was absent

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Interim Assistant County Administrator
Marcee Challener, Interim Director, Library Services
Linda Davidson, Assistant County Attorney
David Wullschleger, Manager, Operations & Technology
Nancy Becker, Administrative Services Librarian

Chief Librarians Nelida Miranda, Suzy George,
Janet Lorenzo, and Jean Peters
North Tampa Branch Supervisor, Peggy Callahan
Barbara Marquette, Senior Executive Secretary.
 

Special Guests:

Eric Johnson, Director, Management and Budget Department
Dan Klein, Budget Programs Manager
Jose Sanchez, Captial Team Manager
Rick VanArsdall, Systems and Revenue Manager

Members of the Public:

Dr. Aaron A. Smith, Ms. Bernadine White-King
Mr. Howard Harris, Mr. Fred Hearns
Mr. Roosevelt J. Baker, members of the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Library and
Mr. Steve Santiago, President of the Latino Community Coalition of FL, Inc.
Jane Cropsey, North Tampa Friends of the Library
Maureen Gauzza, Upper Tampa Bay Friends of the Library

APPROVAL OF THE October 24, 2003 MINUTES

The minutes were approved.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

None.

PRESENTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC/SPECIAL GUESTS:

Dr. Aaron A. Smith; Ms. Bernadine White-King; Mr. Howard Harris; Mr. Fred Hearns; Mr. Roosevelt J. Baker; members of the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Library, and the President of the Latino Community Coalition of FL, Inc., Mr. Steve Santiago petitioned the Library Board to fund the hiring of a consultant to conduct a feasibility study to model the expansion of the Robert W. Saunders Public Library based on the Ft. Lauderdale African-American Cultural Arts Center.

North Tampa Friends of the Library, Jane Cropsey supported the moving of the North Tampa Public Library to the Floriland Mall property stating that they would prefer to be in a free standing facility at the mall.

Upper Tampa Bay Friends of the Library, Maureen Gauzza stated that they were very excited about their holiday fund raiser and the upcoming groundbreaking on December 12th. Ms. Gauzza asked whether the additional 10,000 square feet for Upper Tampa Bay would be added to the unfunded needs list.

Ms. Vickers asked for a change in the order of the agenda. Ms. Swisshelm made the motion, Dr. Fisher seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Challener reported on the Kid City request to use the John F. Germany Library to host a fund raising gala called “Imagination” on May 15, 2004. Ms. Challener stated that the organizers of the event had meet all of the Library's requirements and that the request was approved. The approval to serve alcohol would be up to the Library Board. A limited use agreement was drawn by the County Attorney's office which outlines all the stipulations. Mr. Harkins made the motion to approve Kid City's request to serve alcohol. Ms. Swisshelm seconded. Mr. Corwin asked whether the event would be barred to persons under twenty-one. The only children present will be those performing and they would not be partaking of the food or beverages. The motion passed unanimously.

Members of the Management and Budget Department Director, Eric Johnson; Dan Klein, Budget Programs Manager; Jose Sanchez, Capital Team Manager; and Rick VanArsdall Systems and Revenue Manager, addressed the Library Board member's questions regarding impact fees, CIT fund uses, and reserve funds.

Mr. Johnson stated that impact fees are a financing tool that governments use to pay for infrastructure and are particularly beneficial when a community has growth. And certainly we have significant growth in our community. The most commonly funded impact fees are for water and waste water services. Hillsborough County also has impact fees for construction of parks, transportation, and fire stations. The impact fees in Hillsborough County have not changed except for water and sewer since 1989. This suggests to Mr. Johnson that the Board of County Commissioners is not inclined to extend the use of this particular financing mechanism.

Ms. Cameron stated that citizens are demanding libraries. “Where will the money come from to provide them?” Mr. Johnson stated that the county has had substantial growth in the property tax base in the last few years. Last year county wide there was a nine percent growth in the property tax base. There are no guarantees that this growth will continue but we have an aggressive Property Appraiser who is reevaluating property values.

Dr. Scheuerle stated that in 2006 there is approximately $800 thousand in CIT funds for the North Tampa Library. He feels that it is impossible to expand the North Tampa Branch and that something else will have to be done. Dr. Scheuerle referenced Mr. Johnson's letter of November 4th stating that CIT funds can not be used for leasing expenses. Dr. Scheuerle asked what the Board could do, they have $800 thousand and don't know how to spend it. Mr. Johnson stated that those funds can be reallocated to some other use within the fund. He suggested using the CIT money in place of property taxes that are going into one of the newer facilities and then take the property tax revenue to resolve the North Tampa Library relocation. Mr. Johnson mentioned that the Real Estate Department is looking into the prospect of buying the Floriland Mall since there are multiple County tenants there. He also stated that CIT money is borrowed not taxed and changes would have to be made through a public hearing process.

Mr. Stines stated that staff had informed him today and has asked Real Estate to confirm that the church next door to the North Tampa Library is for sale. Updates will be provided at future meetings.

Dr. Scheuerle stated that at the October 16th Budget Committee meeting the committee asked where the Library Reserve Funds come from. He then asked whether the funds were based on new construction over runs and how much is generated from the millage rate. Mr. Klein distributed a financial statement starting with Fiscal Year 00 all of the revenues and expenditures associated with the Library. He also stated that whatever is generated as revenue is maintained in the Library fund and cannot be commingled with any other funds or for any other purpose and that the reserve funds come primarily from the area of property taxes not expended. Since there is an increase in the property tax base future reserve funds could be used for construction, expansion, and operation of facilities. Currently there is $17 million in the reserve fund that will be drawn down in FY04 and FY05 for construction.

Dr. Scheuerle asked whether there were any restrictions on that money as long as it was used within the Library System. Mr. Klein responded, not necessarily however, it would be prudent to maintain a certain balance but it is entirely for Library Services. Dr. Scheuerle then asked whether that money could be used for leasing, or to hire a consultant. Mr. Klein responded, yes.

Mr. Johnson reminded the Board that the County operates on a six year capital plan and that they should be mindful of the commitments made to open facilities that have not yet been constructed. CIP funds are planned and the Library Board does have the opportunity to change that plan whether it's the timing, price, or the scope of anything in that multi-year plan.

Mr. Corwin asked for an explanation of the Intra-fund transfer that went from $900 thousand to nine million in one year. Mr. Klein stated that there is a separate fund that deals with all Library capital projects. Money is moved from the property tax or operating fund into that project fund. In FY04 $9.3 million and then in FY05 $4.7 were taken from the reserves and put into the projects. In FY04 $9.3 million will be spent on South Brandon and Upper Tampa Bay libraries and some portion of that for the West Gate library. And the same holds true in FY05 for the balance of the West Gate project. Those three projects are an earlier commitment of property taxes/ ad valorem taxes.

Ms. Swisshelm asked whether this would more or less be an argument against the impact fees with the Board of County Commissioners. Mr. Klein stated that it would be difficult to support. Mr. Johnson stated that the issue of impact fees is that you can not levy an impact fee because you have “x” square footage per person and you want “y” square footage per person. You don't levy impact fees on newcomers to increase the standard that you have historically provided, unless you find a different funding source to bring your standard up to that. What an impact fee will do is reflect the standard that you have today. You can't charge new people because you want something more than you have today.

Mr. Corwin stated that he had concerns regarding the Intra-fund transfers. The reserves have dropped by six million dollars in two years, is there anyway of anticipating what will happen in the next three years, will it disappear completely? Mr. Johnson stated that the reserve will continue to drop. This is planned in order to be able to pay cash for facilities. An updated proforma showing future revenue, operating requirements, and the construction program will be completed in the near future.

Dr. Scheuerle asked when there would be a new assignment of CIT funds. Mr. Johnson responded that the Board of County Commissioners has issued all available funds through 2009, approximately thirty-seven million dollars will be available beginning in 2009. No further debt will be issued until FY12.

Ms. Cameron asked whether the Library Board could not commit to any more libraries until 2009. Mr. Johnson stated that his department would be reviewing the master plan and based on that would complete a five year forecast determining what could be accomplished with the Library's current millage rate. He was reluctant to do a ten year plan since the projected figures may not be valid. Mr. Johnson recommended that the Library Board look at the capacity within the existing millage rate, and that there is nothing that precludes the Library Board from going to the Board of County Commissioners and requesting a consideration of an increase in the Library millage.

Mr. Harkins asked to be excused.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

NOMINATING COMMITTEE:

None.

PLANNING COMMITTEE:

Chair, Sandra Cameron, stated that the Committee met on December 1st and discussed the ranking of the unfunded list and has asked for more information from staff. The BOCC workshop to discuss the Master Plan has been delayed. Dr. Scheuerle stated that the question raised by Upper Tampa Bay could not be answered since it is still in committee.

Ms. Cameron stated that Ms. Reeder had requested to be assigned to the Planning Committee. She then asked if others would like to serve on other committees in addition to the ones they are currently assigned. Ms. Vickers stated that she was willing to accept requests. Ms. Reeder, Dr. Scheuerle, and Ms. Swisshelm were assigned to the Planning Committee. Ms. Cameron and Mr. Martin were assigned to the Budget Committee.

BUDGET COMMITTEE:

Chair, William Scheuerle, stated that the Committee met on December 1st and reviewed the final FY03 budget expenditures and the FY04 monthly budget. Many of the questions that came up at the last meeting were answered today by Mr. Johnson. The status of the manager's salary review is still on the Executive Review Committee's agenda.

Mr. Stines stated that the Library Manager's Salary recommendation has been forwarded to the Personnel Committee for final review and action. Mrs. Swisshelm recommended that the new Budget Committee Chair follow up on this action if it is not approved.

POLICIES & BYLAWS COMMITTEE:

There was no committee meeting in December.

INTERNET USE SUBCOMMITTEE:

None.

SCHEDULING ADHOC COMMITTEE:

None.

PUBLIC ART:

None.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

None

NEW BUSINESS:

Dr. Scheuerle stated that he would like to discuss the consultant for the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library. Ms. Challener stated that she had received a written request from Mr. Fred Hearns, President of the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Library addressed to Mr. Joe Stines, Interim Assistant County Administrator.

Dr. Scheuerle read the following statement from Mr. Harkins who had to leave early. “Has a partnership been contemplated with the Tampa Bay History Center for consulting, since the Tampa Bay History Center has the charter from the Board of County Commissioners to archive historic data. Therefore, if a consultant were to be hired perhaps the Tampa Bay History Center should be at the top of the list.” Mr. Stines stated that Mr. Harkins may be suggesting that Mr. Hearns and Mr. Stines speak with Rob Blount, Director of the Tampa Bay History Center. However, Mr. Hearns is not suggesting the construction of a historical but a cultural center.

Dr. Scheuerle made the motion that in order to study the feasibility of the proposed cultural center that the Library Board hire a consultant in order to meet with the appropriate people in Hillsborough County and also to do the same type of structural study that was done at West Gate and other libraries. Mr. Martin seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Challener stated that the Library Board had received a request to serve alcohol at the West Gate Regional Friends of the Library “Art, Wine and Cultural Arts” event. This will be the fourth year of this event, it has been very successful and use of the library has definitely improved. Assistant County Attorney, Linda Davidson recommended that the Library Board modify its alcohol use procedure to include a limited use agreement. Ms. Cameron made the motion to approve the request subject to staff and the Friends of the West Gate Regional Library signing a written agreement. Mr. Corwin seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Cameron asked what the name of the online group for schools, universities, and libraries is. Mr. Stines stated that what she was referring to was the Florida Electronic Library. It ties our computer systems to all others libraries in the state.

DIRECTOR'S REPORT:

Ms. Challener stated that the report had been distributed. Transportation arrangements for the groundbreakings next week were discussed and maps were distributed for both sites. The groundbreakings are South Brandon on December 8th at 3:30 p.m. and Upper Tampa Bay December 12th at 3:00 p.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Budget - Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 1:30 p.m. at the John F. Germany Public Library

Planning Committee – Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 2:00 p.m. at the John F. Germany Public Library

Policy & Bylaws - Thursday, January 22, 2004 – 2:30 p.m. at the West Gate Regional Public Library

Library Board – Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 4:00 p.m. at the West Gate Regional Public Library

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting was adjourned at 5:45pm.

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: January 22, 2004
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: West Gate Regional Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise


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