RUPERT J. SMITH LAW LIBRARY OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY, INC.
Meeting Minutes - October 5, 2007 at 11:30 a.m.
Absentees: James T. Walker, Esquire, Trustee and Paul Fanning, Esquire, Trustee
I. Previous Minutes:
Mr. Wilder made a motion to approve the August Meeting Minutes as prepared by the Secretary. Ms. Lewis seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
II. Financial Reports/Proposed 2007/2008 FY Budget:
The July and August 2007 Financial reports provided by the County were approved. Ms. Lewis moved to approve the reports as presented. Mr. Wilder seconded the motion and it was carried.
Discussion was had concerning the downward turn in revenues. Ms. Everlove commented that our revenues have slipped the last four months. She is not sure if it is just a summer slump or what. However she did look at last year’s records and did not see the trend, certainly not this dramatic. Ms. Everlove stated that she’s not quite sure how to interrupt that as four months are not quite enough time to judge, but she wanted the Trustees to now that the money is not growing the way that it was. Judge Conner asked how much it has slipped. Ms. Everlove stated that an average month for us has been around twenty-six thousand dollars and the last four months have average around twenty-three thousand. Not one of the last four months has hit the average. We’re probably ten to fifteen thousand dollars off of the projection or what Ms. Everlove would have expected to come in during those four months. Mr. Wilder stated that it appears that we are down about 10%. Judge Conner asked if the revenues are still well above the expenses. Ms. Everlove stated that they are this year, but she is concerned about next year if this trend continues.
Ms. Everlove distributed a handout which contained the Proposed Budget for the Law Library’s Fiscal Year 2007/2008. She separated out what she feels will be the expenses related to the new library. The budget proposal discloses $129,000.00 under equipment. Judge Conner inquired if this is the shelving. Ms. Everlove replied that most of it is the shelving and she is also figuring something for the Light Board, chairs, computers and any other necessary equipment.
The balance sheets shows that Ms. Everlove estimates that we will still make about $293,000.00 this year, our fiscal year, based on the August Financial Statement. She believes thatclass=Section2>
our expenditures will be about $288,000.00. This is perfect, a small percentage under. However, next year, if our revenues continue the way they’ve been for the last few months, we will be lucky to see $290,000.00. Ms. Everlove believes that the revenues will pull back up, but she is still a little nervous as to whether or not they will be back up to where they were. The expenditures on the other hand are a huge deficit. Mr. Wilder commented that a lot of the projected expenditures will be due to the move. Ms. Everlove reported that out of the $446,000.00 projected in expenses, $137,000.00 of it is related to the move. However, if you do the math, we are still coming up short. We still aren’t covering our expenses, although we are close, very close, it’s about $10, 000.00 to $15,000.00 off what we need. We could probably, with our reserves, at $286,000.00 we could go on forever that way or at least a good fifteen years. But, if we are coming up short $15,000.00 next year, and then that will be $20,000.00 or $25,000.00 and assuming that our revenues are stagnating, we could chew up $130,000.00 fairly quickly. Ms. Everlove stated again that four months could just be a glitch. It is not really enough time to say.
Ms. Everlove stated that at the same time she I saying we might not have enough money, she’d like to discuss labor costs. She stated that Ms. Atkinson has not had a raise since taking over as secretary and Everlove & Associates has not had a raise in three years. The proposed budget shows an increase of $400.00 per month for Everlove & Associates and $35.00 per month for Ms. Atkinson. Further discussion was had concerning the proposed budget.
Judge Conner stated that he wants to make sure that we come back in January and look at what the revenue stream. We need to see if this is going to be an ongoing trend or it is going to pick back up. He stated that it may be necessary to cut back on additional hours if the revenues do not pick back up. It was decided that the approval of the proposed budget should be tabled until the next meeting when the other Trustees will be present. Ms. Everlove stated that she will send a copy of the Proposed Budget to Mr. Walker and to Mr. Fanning.
Further discussion was had concerning the cost and time frame of the move. Ms. Everlove stated that we need to be at least two months ahead of the move just to order the shelves. Judge Conner stated that if it will cost less to order the shelves earlier, we may want to ask the County if the shelves could be stored at the Sam’s warehouse. He stated that he would ask Roger Shinn. Ms. Everlove is to get a number on the physical space that it will take to store the shelves. Ms. Everlove stated that there is also the issue of the cost of moving the shelves if we store them. Judge Conner stated that he would check with the Sheriff to see if he has the equipment to move the shelves. He asked Ms. Everlove to find out how the size and weight of the largest box.
Ms. Everlove stated that the Ten Year Plan has been brought up to date and is attached to the proposed budget handout. She pointed out to the Board that very little of the money is actually going for new shelves. We are gaining 1270 linear feet of shelves and to put that into perspective, a typical bookcase is about twenty linear feet, so this if giving us fifty shelves, fifty bookcases. The good news is that this is more than Ms. Everlove said we had to have to get through the next ten years the last time she updated the Ten Year Plan. The bad news is that the space is such that we are going to have a hard time ever adding anything on again in that space. We will probably have to cut print subscriptions by 2020, even at that we will still have about 150 years in case law in print. More than the space, Ms. Everlove is concerned about the cost of the move. Our shelving contractor is giving us a quote of almost $115,000.00. This quote will purchase the new shelving at twelve hundred linear feet. It will purchase rails for most of the stationary metal shelves that we now have, because they have to be converted to rolling shelves. It will repurchase all of the wooden shelves that we can no longer buy rails for when we move them. It also pays for the supervision of the breakdown of the shelves, the move of the shelves and the reassembly the bookcase that can be reused. This is using the Sheriff’s trustees as the actual labor. This works out to more than $90.00 per linear foot gained or about $1,900.00 for a standard bookcase. What we are really paying for is to move what we’ve already got. A few years ago we paid $12.00 per linear foot for the bookshelves. We are spending $80,000.00 to move what we already have. Ms. Everlove stated that is $80,000.00 we would not have to spend if we didn’t have to move. Judge Conner’s response was that the shelving would have to be replaced and/or repaired over the years, so we would be incurring some of the expenses anyway. He further stated that the move has to happen because of the dire need for additional court space.
Ms. Everlove stated that she was hoping to prevail upon the County to pay for the move. Judge Conner stated that unfortunately the entire State is in this crisis over taxes. He doesn’t see the County Commission being in a position to help out, especially when the library has a reserve account. Mr. Wilder stated that he doesn’t know if we want to bring this to the County necessarily at this point. Ms. Lewis stated that when the library was looking at rough times, the County was ready to pitch in, but at this time and when the library’s reserves, she wouldn’t think it would be a good time to ask.
Ms. Lewis stated that she is very concerned about the downward trend in revenues. Judge Conner stated that he suspects that due to a downturn in the economy, people are not traveling as much and therefore there are not as many traffic tickets and citations being issued. Ms. Everlove stated that it could also be on the criminal end, realizing that the Law Library will be the last to receive funds. Judge Conner stated that he would be surprised as he thought that Judge Walsh was doing very well with collection court. Ms. Everlove explained that she had tried to contact Court Administration to see if their revenues had been affected, but was unable to reach anyone. She will continue to try to obtain this information
Ms. Atkinson presented a copy of the Annual Financial Report to the trustees and reported that this was filed on time this year.
III. Law Library Security:
The issue of security for the new Law Library was discussed. Judge Conner indicated that he thought he remembered that there would be security, either Wakenhut or Deputy on duty in addition to metal detectors. He stated that he needed to get with Lt. Doug Hardie, Court Security to verify that the Sheriff has included security in his budget for the Law Library. Ms. Everlove stated that she needs to find out if metal detectors will fit in the Law Library. Judge Conner stated that Ms. Everlove needs to discuss this with Mr. Drittenbaus, the architect, as all of the security issues were discussed for this renovation and that he would be very surprised if Mr. Drittenbaus did not factor in metal detectors at the doors. Ms. Everlove stated that she had never discussed this with Mr. Drittenbaus. Ms. Lewis stated that she wanted to make sure that there was physical security for the Law Library as well as the metal detectors. She is not willing to ask someone to work after hours without this security.
IV. Judges’ Portrait:
A copy of the proof for the Judge’s portrait was presented. Everyone present and seemed pleased with the results. At the next meeting it will be decided
Mr. Wilder reported that he had renewed the Law Library’s membership with COSA. COSA now has a website with links to other web sites. Mr. Wilder made a motion to allow a link to the website for the Rupert J. Smith Law Library of St. Lucie County. Ms. Lewis seconded the motion and it was unanimously carried. Judge Conner signed the release as the Chairman. The contact e-mail is to be Ms. Everlove.
VI: Annual Florida State/County Court Law Library Conference:
Ms. Everlove stated that Mr. Walker asked that she bring to Board’s attention that next weekend is the annual Florida State/County Court Law Library Conference. Ms. Everlove and Eppy are both attending the conference. Mr. Walker wanted to let the Board know just in case one of the Trustees wanted to attend the conference.
VII:: As no further discussion was to be had, the meeting was adjourned.
Dated: November _______, 2007
Burton C. Conner, Chairman
James T. Walker, Member
Jim Wilder, Member
Paula A. Lewis