TRUSTEES IN ATTENDANCE: Hon. Burton C. Conner, James T. Walker, Esquire
& Johnathan Ferguson, Esquire
TRUSTEES ABSENT: Jim Wilder & Paul A. Lewis, County Commissioner
OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: Nora J. Everlove, Librarian & Lynn T. Atkinson,
Judge Conner called the August 5, 2011 monthly meeting of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library to order.
Mr. Walker moved approval of the minutes for the previous meeting. Mr. Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
II. FINANCIAL REPORTS:
Ms. Everlove explained the financial statements to the Trustees. Our revenues have been down for two months, but are back up. The revenues for July were $32,000.00. We’re making at least $100,000.00 per year more than we are spending at this point. This has been the pattern for over a year now. Mr. Ferguson moved to approve the June and July 2011 Financial Statements. Mr. Walker seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
III. DISCUSSION OF ADDITIONS TO BUDGET (Extra Funds):
Ms. Everlove presented a proposed budget to the Trustees. Through June of this year we’ve received $230,000.00 in revenue. We’ve spent $174,000.00. In reserve we have a balance of $345,000.00. June is our ninth month of the fiscal year, but we’ve only received eight months of revenues. Between now and the end of the fiscal year we will have an extra month of revenues.
Ms. Everlove indicated that the cost of books/subscriptions will increase approximately 15% over the next year. She anticipates a 5% increase in all other expenditures. Ms. Everlove explained to the Trustees that if our expenditures increase by $10,000.00 per month she feels that our reserve account which is currently set at $120,000.00 should increase as well. The $120,000.00 reserve is based on our current expenditures. Mr.
Walker pointed out that the reserve amount should be tabled until it is decided what the increase in expenditures is.
Based on the current monthly revenues Ms. Everlove feels that we could spend another $10,000.00 per month. If the intention is to deplete some of the excess monies she would recommend it be spent on one-time expenses rather than reoccurring expenses. Judge Conner stated that once we tag the total number he would like to see that figure broken down into three different components: 1) increased labor costs, 2) increased reoccurring expenses to keep a service updated and 3) one-time expenditures.
Mr. Walker stated that we need to set aside the existing $120,000.00 reserve amount. If we assume that we would increase spending to $30,000.00 per month from $20,000.00. Assuming we maintain an $180,000.00 reserve which assumes the $10,000.00 per month
increase in expenditures. For discussion purposes $170,000.000 would be the figure to divide between the three categories for the additional expenditures.
Discussion was had concerning Ms. Everlove’s Memo Re: Extra Funds-Discussing Additions to the Budget, a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof:
1) Additional Hours: The Main Law Library - extend hours to 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, keeping the Library open during the lunch hour 12:00 pm. to 1:00 p.m. as well. Saturday hours, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The St. Lucie West “SLW” Branch of the Law Library: Weekly visits to the SLW Branch for 3 hours. Feasibility Studies: a) Feasibility study for combining the pro se office and the law library b) Feasibility study for joint project with Florida Rural Legal Services (grants may be available for these types of projects. Cost of these two studies at $200.00 for each study was approved by the Trustees.
2) CLE Materials: We currently have 10-12 CLEs available. Mr. Ferguson inquired as to how many CLEs the Florida bar publishes every year and if our budget will permit purchase of all of the CLEs. Mr. Ferguson volunteered to research the number of CLEs published every year and he will come up with a budget proposal for CLEs. A $6,000.00 annual budget was provisionally approved for the purchase of CLEs.
3) Print Materials for SLW: Mr. Ferguson stated that he will defer this item the next meeting so that he can get with the Port St. Lucie Bar members for their
input. The amount of $1,000.00 for the purchase Pro se Self-help Materials was provisionally approved. Ms. Everlove will give Mr. Ferguson a list of what she contemplated in the $3,000.00 she suggested for the complete Florida handbooks series.
a) Wifi: Available at the Law Library.
b) Online security: Judge Conner expressed concern about online security. Ms. Everlove will bring a number to the next meeting for the cost of an audit of the computer system.
c) Computer purchase: The Trustees authorized a budget for the purchase of four new computers. Two computers are to be purchased at this time and the other two are to be purchased at the discretion of the Librarian as the need arises.
d) Lighting: The purchase of lighting for the computer carols is approved.
e) Printing: The computers currently print to the copy machines so that individuals of law firms can be charged for their copies.
f) Network upgrade: Part of the computer audit.
5) Online Database SLW: It was decided to defer discussion on additional online services for SLW until after Mr. Ferguson can get with the members of the Port St. Lucie Bar Association.
6) Online Database Main Law Library:
a) It was decided to have both Lexis/Nexis and WestLaw at the Main Library.
b) Hein online: Provides full text of almost every law review with full-text capabilities. $5,000.00 annually - purchase approved.
c) Upgrade Westlaw: These upgrades are to be taken from the $170,000.00 surplus.
*Westlaw databases – Approved upgrade (additional $12,000.00 annually).
*Westlaw Next – Approved upgrade (additional $12,000.00 annually).
7) Additional Items:
a) Reserve Account: Mr. Ferguson suggested $200,000.00 for the reserve account. Discussion was had concerning placing the reserve funds in a separate interest bearing account. It was decided not to do this since the County does not charge for their services.
b) Art Contest: It was discussed that the Law Library be able to contribute toward the awards for the annual Law Library Law Week Art Contest. It was decided that the Law Library can contribute if the winner’s art is retained for artwork to decorate the Law Library. Ms. Everlove stated that she would like to be able to use some of the art contest artwork in the new Friend’s Journal that is being published. A signed release form should be signed by the contestants allowing the use/reproduction of their artwork. It was decided that the Friend’s will make a recommendation to the Trustees for an amount to be contributed toward the art contest awards and the age levels of the prizes. Judge Conner stated that the thought is more prizes and not such a dramatic jump between the prize amounts.
c) Artwork for Law Library: Ms. Everlove stated that funds may be expended on replacing some of the permanent artwork that has seen better days.
d) Marketing Budget: Mr. Ferguson suggested that out of the $170,000.00 perhaps there could be a budgeted amount to do a mass mailing to the
local bar members concerning what services are available at the Law Library. Maintaining services would include advising everyone what services are available at the Law Library. Mr. Walker stated that the Friend’s Journal will be distributed in a mass e-mail and then a hard copy of the Journal will be mailed to all bar members as well. Mr. Walker will discuss with and the Friends will make a recommendation to the Trustees as to an amount that it will cost to assist in the maintenance of the Law Library by getting to word out that we exist and the services that we offer. Mr. Ferguson is still asking for a one time, perhaps annual publication that really highlights the Law Library’s enhancements to be mailed to the local bar members. Ms. Everlove agreed that there should be a collateral piece that is mailed to the attorneys. It was decided that Ms. Everlove will work on the collateral piece and present the approximate cost for the collateral piece, including the printing and postage costs. The Friends already has the bar member mailing list for all four counties. Mr. Ferguson stated that although it is not for discussion today he would like to continue discussion of realigning our services. The Law Library needs to reinvent itself and keep up with the times. He feels that it is a good exercise to continually reassess our services.
e) SmartBoard: Ms. Everlove advised that we have a new computer as authorized by the Trustees for use with the SmartBoard. Unfortunately the gap between the computer technology and the SmartBoard is too great. Judge Conner suggested that the computer audit that was previously approved should be able to recommend what needs to be done concerning the SmartBoard.
f) Print Collection Update: AmJur and ALRs are current. Ms. Everlove advised that to replace entire National Reporter System would be about $120,000.00. It is about two years out of date. It is cheaper to replace the System than to bring it up to date. It will cost about another $60,000.00 to keep it updated annually. Ms. Everlove will check to verify this figure. She stated that she believes these figures are at a 20% discount. There are so few subscribers to the print collection at this point that they have to charge this much money to break even on the print. The Reporters are about $400.00 per volume and the cost increases each year. Florida Cases are up to date. Federal Reporters are up to date. Judge Conner requested an estimate of the cost of bringing the Southern Reporter Second up to date. Ms. Everlove will present recommendations and prices at the next meeting.
Ms. Everlove will prepare a budget for the next meeting based on the above provisional decisions to be presented to the Trustees at the next meeting on September 9, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
As there was no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned.
DATE: September 9, 2011.
BURTON C. CONNER, Chairman
JIM WILDER, Member
JOHNATHAN FERGUSON, Member
PAULA A. LEWIS, Member
JAMES T. WALKER, Member