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Woodbridge Library, Another Tax Sinkhole?

Libraries, a place of learning or a place for political appointees?

So many people, at least some of the older generation, grew up using a library and the services and knowledge of librarians.

Today, unfortunately, librarians have all but disappeared from schools (see:  http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/06/26/are-school-librarians-expendable) and the children and the teachers in those schools will be all the worse for that fact.  But BOE's, at least in Woodbridge, can find money, even from self-serving, self-aggrandizing elected municipal official who dole out municipal tax dollars to curry favor with specific voting blocks, for lighting, turf and other less important school property enhancements.

Few residents in Woodbridge Township may realize their public library is all but a totally autonomous entity in a township that I joking refer to as MacBelieve Land!

The library has its own Board of Directors, who are appointed by John McCormac and seconded by his town council.  Together, they hire librarians, control which librarians are assigned to which libraries, who gets paid what, and how municipal tax dollars are spent.  Of course, all this is done under the watchful eye of the mayor, and without nepotism or crony-ism by all concerned.  Just like the Woodbridge BOE.

Okay, so much for the MacBelieve!  Now look at the information one concern citizen wants the public to know:

Start:

This info is from 2011 and may not be precise, but it's pretty close. Cecile McGrath has a high school diploma and she makes more than most of the professional librarians with Master’s Degrees.  Her Civil Service title is "Principal Account Clerk" and she is actually just the library Bookkeeper.  

 

Cecil McGrath’s salary in 2011: $93,660 http://php.app.com/NJpublicemployees12/details.php?recordID=284506

John McCormac’s salary in 2011: $81,716  http://php.app.com/NJpublicemployees12/details.php?recordID=284239

Marianne Horta's salary in 2011:  $78,816

http://php.app.com/NJpublicemployees12/details.php?recordID=284123

 

 

The Library Board meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Book Examination Center on the 3rd floor of the Main Library, except for Aug and Dec when there are no meetings:

Meeting dates for 2013 are as follows:

January 17, 2013

February 21, 2013

March 21, 2013

April 18, 2013

May 16, 2013

June 20, 2013

Library Board of Trustees

 Name

Appointed

Expiration

Bob Bonsignore

1/01/12

12/31/16

Edward R. Mullen

1/01/12

12/31/12

Frederick W. Silbon, Jr. (Secretary)

1/05/99

12/31/13

Barbara Ciocci

1/04/00

12/31/14

Mary M. Mayerowitz “Peggy” (President)

1/04/00

12/31/14

Isha Vyas

1/01/01

12/31/14

Ray Zirpolo

1/11/11

12/31/15

Carol Eberhardt Treasurer
(Supt. Of Schools Alt.)

6/15/05

Indef.

Amanda Truppa  (Mayor’s Alt.)

1/05/10

Indef.

 

 

Kristen Mullen, daughter of Library Trustee, Ed Mullen was just hired as a Library Assistant at the Main Library at the Oct. 18th Board meeting.

 

There is a clause in the original Policy Manual of the Woodbridge Public Library which prohibits the hiring of relatives of Trustees and Administrative Personnel due to ethical concerns.

End

 

Well, it does appear that libraries are still a place of learning, in more ways than one!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tom Maras November 22, 2012 at 08:48 PM
AWARD For the foregoing reasons IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Employer cease and desist from continuing to arbitrarily deny vacation requests for more than two consecutive weeks. Dated: November 4, 2012 Skillman, N.J. On this 4th day of November, 2012, before me personally came and appeared Joel M. Weisblatt, tb me known and known to me to be the individual described in and who executed the foregoing instrument and he acknowledged to me that he executed the same. For the record, I do not want to see our oh so vital libraries become another bastion of McCormac style nepotism, crony-ism, and political appointees! The system is too important for such political shenanigans!
Chris Stanley November 23, 2012 at 03:31 PM
The Mullen sisters have been exemplary employees in the library for a few years. What concerns me, Tom, is not what you know, but rather what you don't know.
Tom Maras November 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Chris, I am a quick study and try, as my friend Bill O' likes to say, to be fair and balanced. No lies, no spin! If you have input, please do input it.
FWS December 09, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Mr. Maras, why not express your interest in the well being of the system directly to a council member or the Mayor himself after a council meeting? In the meantime and if you haven't already done so, why not join the 'Friends of the Library' and show that you are willing to do some of the grunt work it takes to keep up a system as good as ours. Someone with your concern may have a place on other committees or boards as well; here is the link to the township application form for volunteering for boards and committess: http://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=5mtIS%2fE%2bJKY%3d&tabid=321&mid=2505. Good luck. FWS
Tom Maras December 09, 2012 at 12:29 PM
@FWS. Appreciate the suggestions. A few months ago I was honored to become VP of AARP,, Chapter 3869, Woodbridge. As such, plan on spending more of my time on issues related to the wellbeing of seniors. Then too, my interests in municipal government and BOE related matters takes up a lot of time as well. Still, if time allows, helping the library, even as grunt, would be a worthwhile endeavor. As to the mayor or town council putting be on a board, I subject the only board they would like to see me on is a water board! Happy Holidays!

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