Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 27, 2012

City library board undergoing changes

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Falls Library’s Board of Trustees is expanding.

City lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution this week to amend the city charter changing the amount of library board trustees from five to no less than five and no more than nine. The move mirrors changes in the library’s charter made earlier this month.

Falls library Director Michelle Petrazzoulo said the local library system received approval from the state to expand the board in an effort to provide more programming for residents.

“If we have a larger library board, we would have more flexibility in terms of creating subcommittees,” Petrazzoulo said.

She said that a larger board will also allow for a more complete representation of changing demographics in the city.

“We want to have a good representation of the ethnicities and backgrounds of the city so that we can best serve the public,” Petrazzoulo said. 

Council Chairman Sam Fruscione said the council consulted with New York state and city attorneys before making the amendment to the charter. He said the change is expected to help the library board be more productive as, in the past, the board was not always able to secure attendance from enough trustees to have a quorum needed to legally take action.

“They can find more members to attend on a regular basis to form a quorum,” Fruscione said. “That was one of the difficulties they were having.”

The council also approved Mayor Paul Dyster’s appointment of Noreen K. Hill to the library board. The board denied Dyster’s last appointment of College Avenue resident James Lemke, who is white, because the council majority is seeking a more diverse library board.

The council majority - Fruscione,Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. and Councilman Glenn Choolokian - blocked another Dyster appointment earlier this year, denying one-time council candidate Alicia Laible, who is also white.

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