The 2010 Operating Budget Vote and Trustee Election will take place on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the first floor of the John Jermain Memorial Library. This year voters will be asked to approve a $1,068,800 operating budget for the library. This represents and increase of 4.9%, or $48,570 over the previous year’s budget. Reasons for the increase include the rising cost of materials, including books, increases in salaries and benefits — notably, health insurance, rising utility and other operating expenses, new payroll taxes and cuts in State funding. Voters are reminded that this budget has nothing to do with the recently approved bond issue for the renovation and expansion of the library. This budget only includes monies for the library’s day to day expenses. For a more detailed look at the budget, click here or on the picture at right.
Also on the ballot this year are two seats on the Library’s eight-person Board of Trustees. There are two candidates running for the seats: incumbent Christopher Leonard and Michael Garabedian. Long-time trustee and current Board President Diane Gaites has chosen not to run for reelection. Brief bios of the two candidates can be found at the end of this post.
For those who may have questions about the budget or for the trustee candidates, the Annual Budget Meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. This is a public meeting at which the Trustees and Library Director Catherine Creedon will answer questions about the budget. It will be immediately followed by a Trustee Forum, in which the public may ask questions of the candidates.
All registered voters residing in the Sag Harbor School District are eligible to vote. Absentee ballot applications can be picked up at the library.
Christopher Leonard – Christopher Leonard grew up in Vermont and has been a resident of Sag Harbor for 39 years. He attended the University of Wisconsin and received his BA in Art History from New York University. He completed additional business education and is a practicing Certified Public Accountant. Chris served as Chairman of the Sag Harbor Village Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review and was a board member of Mashashimuet Park, the Park and Recreation Association of Sag Harbor, NY. Chris currently serves as the Board’s treasurer.
Michael Garabedian – Michael Garabedian is the managing partner of Rayano & Garabedian, P.C., a general practice law firm with offices located in Sag Harbor and Central Islip, New York, specializing in litigation and transactional matters for domestic, closely-held corporations, partnerships and business professionals. He received his undergraduate degree from New York University in 1982, and his juris doctor (i.e., law degree) from Union University, Albany Law School, in 1985. Along with being admitted to practice law in all of the courts of the State of New York, Michael is admitted in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, as well as the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Michael is the President and Chairman of the Board for Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc., a not-for-profit international child-placement agency, licensed in New York and North Carolina. Hopscotch is dedicated to helping children in need of families, through humanitarian efforts and adoption into permanent, loving homes. Hopscotch was accredited by the Council on Accreditation as a Hague Accredited agency in February, 2008, and thus follows both U.S. and Hague Convention policies and regulations regarding international adoption.