RUPERT J. SMITH LAW LIBRARY OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY, INC.
February 8, 2008 at 12:00 p.m.
Trustees Attending: Honorable
Trustees Absent: Paul Fanning, Commissioner Paula Lewis
Others Attending: Nora Everlove, Librarian, Lynn T. Atkinson, Secretary
Mr. Wilder moved approval of the January 2008 Minutes as presented. Mr. Walker seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
II. Financial Statements:
Mr. Walker had questions concerning the Profit and Loss Statement for November 2007 versus the Operating Cash Report for November 2007 at the previous meeting. Approval of the Financial Statements was tabled for discussion at this meeting. Mr. Walker stated that revenues were down about $14,000.00 from October. Judge Conner stated that October shows $287, 000.00 and it looks like the revenues exceeded the expenses, but yet, for some reason, we go down in the cash balance. Discussion was had on this matter. Mr. Walker moved that approval of the December 2007 Financial Statement be tabled until the next meeting along with the October and November 2007 Statements, to allow Ms. Everlove time to confer with finance. Mr. Wilder seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
III. Ticket Revenue:
Judge Conner apologized for not having spoken to Ed Fry about whether or he has noticed a decline in the ticket revenues. Ms. Everlove stated that she would speak to Mr. Fry.
Judge Conner reported that he spoke to Roger Shinn and the renovations on the old courthouse have been bid out. Subsequently Judge Conner advised Ms. Everlove to go ahead and order the shelving. Ms. Everlove signed the agreement. She stated that they would need a 25% deposit to hold the price. Ms. Everlove stated that she would get with Tom LaRocca to send Ms. Atkinson an invoice to that effect. Mr. Walker moved that the Trustees authorize payment of the 25% deposit. Mr. Wilder seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
V. Library Usage Statistics/ Class for Non-Lawyers:
Ms. Everlove distributed a handout on usage of the Law library. Discussion was had on the figures. Ms. Everlove reported on the Law library Class for pro se individuals that was given as well. Mr. Wilder reported that he took the class. There were fourteen attendees at the first class and six attendees at the second class. Mr. Wilder stated that he found the class very worthwhile and that it demystified a lot of things about the law library. He complemented Mr. Anastasio on his energetic and vivacious teaching style. Discussion was had on future classes. Mr. Walker stated that it is important that the Trustees know something about the Law library and this education is an essential part of that education, thus he made a motion that the Trustees pay for Mr. Wilder’s $35.00 charge on Mr. Wilder’s behalf. Judge Conner turned the chair over to Mr. Wilder and seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
After reviewing the usage numbers, Judge Conner asked if there was a seminar offered in October or November. Ms. Everlove reported that there was no special event in October, but November’s figures do reflect some sort of meeting that was held at the Law library. She stated that although she did not know how many were attendees at that meeting, she would think that at least half of the users were attending that meeting. Mr. Walker asked how the gate meter was affecting these counts. There was some discussion about the total in and out of people logged on the gate meter versus the number of people actually counted. The meter is approximately four times the physical count.
Judge Conner asked for the approximate cost of the additional hours that the Law library is staying open. Ms. Everlove stated that she would approximate $6,000.00 annually. Judge Conner stated that if his figures are correct, adding the pro se and attorney figures for the year 2007, it comes to 121 after hours for the year. Judge Conner asked if as Trustees everyone is comfortable that this amount of people using the law library warrants keeping the law library open the additional hours. Mr. Walker replied, absolutely. Number one, the lawyers used to have after hours access to the law library via a slide card, which they no longer have. Number two, he feels that the numbers can only go up. The general public needs evening access to the Law library. Mr. Walker stated that as more of the community is introduced by continued sponsorship of the courses, we are going to see that the numbers will trend upward.
Judge Conner stated even though the Sheriff provided security for the evening hours out of his budget this year, he is fairly confident that come the new fiscal year that we are going to hear that the Sheriff is not able to absorb that cost in his budget. If we continue to keep the Law library open during the evening hours, it may be that the Trustees will have to foot the bill for the security as well. Judge Conner stated that he has no problem absorbing the cost of security for one year and then at the end of that year, can we, in good faith, as trustees of the money, say this is a good expenditure of the money. Mr. Walker stated that we have another duty as trustees and that is to enhance the value of the library to the public. Judge Conner stated that he agreed. Mr. Walker stated that we do our best to provide a service and if we find that we are unable to provide that with the financial resources in hand, then we go to the legislature and the commission and they make the decision, ultimately, about whether or not it’s worth the cost to the public and whether the public should be paying for that. Further discussion was had concerning the costs of operation if we have to absorb the security costs as well.
Mr. Wilder stated that he had to jump in on this one. He stated that part of this is not a money concern. It is a service and it is tough to put a price on the ability of someone to come into the library and do some serious work to help themselves. He agrees that there is a bottom line, but he thinks that if a time line has to be set to see if the usage during the evening hours warrants the additional cost, the time line should be a minimum of three years. During this three years, there should be a concentrated public outreach, including the educational courses.
Judge Conner suggested that the physical count be done and the gate meter be read at 4:30p.m. and then again at the end of the evening to give a more accurate look at the number of evening hour users.
VI. Phone Directory:
Mr. Walker inquired as to the Law library listing in the phone directory. Ms. Everlove informed him that they had signed just a matter of days to be listed in last October’s Yellow Pages. We should be listed in the next edition. Judge Conner asked that there be a followup in late July of August of this year to make sure that we get into the next year’s edition. Ms. Everlove stated that she would have Kathy tickle the calendar for this.
Mr. Walker inquired as to the status of the insurance. Ms. Atkinson stated that she delivered the signed insurance paperwork to National City Insurance. She also sent the check request to finance. The insurance company is aware that the check has been requested through finance and they will contact Ms. Atkinson if there is a problem. Ms. Everlove stated that our insurance cost hasclass=Section2>
about doubled from last year. Ms. Everlove informed everyone that National City Insurance only got two quotes and we went with the cheaper of the two quotes. Unfortunately we were not given enough time to really research this adequately. Ms. Atkinson reminded the Trustees that this amount does not include the flood insurance as that is a separate policy and the premium is due at a different time during the year.
Mr. Walker inquired as to the status of the portrait. Ms. Atkinson informed everyone that Judge Belanger would be having his picture made this week to insert into the portrait. Mr. Walker and Mr. Staten had a conversation concerning the matting, framing and name plaque. Mr. Walker stated that Mr. Staten has an arrangement with someone that can do the matting and framing and the plaque and he can take care of this for us.
Mr. Walker inquired as to when the renovations would start on the old courthouse. Judge Conner stated that he thought he had heard it would be in June. Ms. Everlove stated that she understood that it would be 10 to 12 months to completion. Mr. Walker said that he had spoken to Mr. Fry and that the clerk’s would not need to continue using the big conference room after the Law library moves into its new quarters.
X. Increase in Pay:
Ms. Everlove brought to the attention of the Trustees that the new budget had been approved, but that she had billed October, November and December 2007 at the old rate of pay. It was decided that approval of the fiscal year’s budget included the increase in rates, effective October 1, 2007. Ms. Everlove is to bill for the difference in the rate of pay for the months of October, November and December 2007.
As no further discussion was to be had, the meeting was adjourned.
Dated: March _____, 2008
James T. Walker, Member