Niagara Gazette — Filling vacancies on the Niagara Falls Library Board is proving to be a challenge for Mayor Paul Dyster's administration.
For the second time this year, the city council's three-member majority rejected a request from Dyster to appoint a new library board member.
Back in February, citing an interest to add more diversity to the existing board, Council Chairman Sam Fruscione and fellow council members Robert Anderson and Glenn Choolokian voted against Dyster's move to allow one-time council candidate Alicia Laible to serve on the board overseeing library affairs.
Earlier this month, the same three council members turned down Dyster's request to appoint College Avenue resident James Lemke to a vacant library board seat.
Dyster said he intends to continue to present candidates for the council's consideration in future weeks, contending that the board needs active members in order to function at a high level.
"There are multiple vacancies on the board and my understanding is that they are having difficulty getting a quorum at times to do business," Dyster said. "I absolutely believe in having a diverse library board as I do a diverse administration but I don't think it's a reason to vote down Mr. Lemke."
Anderson said the majority's decision to reject Lemke had nothing to do with him personally. He said there was no advance warning from the administration that his appointment was coming and the council first heard about it when it appeared on its agenda for the first meeting in October.
"It had nothing to do with this individual personally because unless I see an individual's face, I don't know who the individual is," Anderson said. "We wanted diversity. That's all."
Anderson said voting to appoint a person to a key board like the library is difficult when you don't know much about the individual before the vote is to take place.