Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Oct. 15, 2012): In their last meeting before the Nov. 6 election, board members got an update about the campaign to support AADL’s bond proposal for a new downtown library.
That update came from Ellie Serras, who leads the Our New Downtown Library campaign committee. She had briefed the board previously at its Aug. 20 meeting. If approved by voters on Nov. 6, the $65 million, 30-year bond proposal will fund the demolition of the existing library at 343 S. Fifth and the construction of a new building on that same site.
Speaking during public commentary, Serras catalogued the number of yard signs, buttons, postcard mailings, meetings and other efforts of the campaign. She described the campaign as being built on trust and confidence, “not rumor and innuendo,” and said the new library will be an expression of the community’s core values of education and equal access for all. Serras received a round of applause from board members after her remarks.
The other item tangentially related to the bond proposal was the uncharacteristic absence of AADL director Josie Parker from the meeting. Board president Margaret Leary reported that Parker was attending two separate township meetings that night to talk about the bond proposal. For the most part, the AADL district mirrors the Ann Arbor Public Schools district. In addition to the city of Ann Arbor, the district includes parts of the townships of Pittsfield, Scio, Ann Arbor, Lodi, Webster, Salem and Superior.
In addition to the bond proposal, there are four seats on the AADL board that are on the Nov. 6 ballot. Four incumbents – Rebecca Head, Nancy Kaplan, Margaret Leary and Prue Rosenthal – are running for re-election. The fifth candidate is Lyn Davidge, who attended the Oct. 15 meeting but did not speak during public commentary. For Chronicle coverage of a recent League of Women Voters forum on this race, see “Library Board Candidates Compete for 4 Seats.” While the four incumbents support the bond proposal, Davidge does not believe it’s the right project at this time.
During the Oct. 15 meeting, the board also got a brief report on library finances. And Leary notified the board that Parker has been appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Commission for Blind Persons, an advisory group for state programs and services. The AADL administers the Washtenaw Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled.