2023 Library Vote

Tuesday, October 4, 2022


Grinnell Library Community Room

Voters may enter through the side entrance or from the first floor

If you have been to the Library recently, you may have noticed the vertical platform-lift, which enables patrons to travel between the first and second floors. Improving accessibility was identified as a priority in Grinnell’s Long-Range Plan, and is a demonstration of the Board’s commitment to meet the needs of our community.

With the proposed 2023 budget, the Board of Trustees will focus on additional organizational priorities:

1. Provide free access to a variety of materials.
2. Protect and preserve the building

As part of the mission to provide free access to a variety of materials, the Board has decided to eliminate fines charged for overdue materials to reduce barriers to library access and ensure that all members of our community can use Grinnell Library’s materials and services.

Grinnell Library is not only a community hub, serving thousands of people each month, but also a local landmark. Built in 1887, the front façade incorporates cut and tooled stone on the first story and wood shingles shaped in a variety of patterns on the second story. The original front windows are distinguished by upper sashes that are partitioned in a diamond pattern. The historic features of the exterior of the Library have been well-preserved.

However, the age of the library calls for an exterior rehabilitation. The wood shingles have been painted multiple times, and the weight of the paint has caused paint loss in the exposed areas. Years of sun and runoff have created problems such as weathered window sills. The large plate glass display windows are not weatherized.

The Board is sensitive to this time of substantial inflation, and the renovation will be done in phases in order to avoid placing an undue burden on homeowners.

Qualified voters will be asked to vote YES or NO on the proposition that $1,278,535 be raised by annual levy of a tax for the purpose of funding the operating budget of the library, and to elect three trustees to the Board.

This vote is open to voters qualified to vote in a general election and residents within the Village of Wappingers Falls and Town of Wappinger (except the portion of the Town located within the Beacon City School District), County of Dutchess, State of New York. Voters who will be absent on the day of the vote can apply for an absentee ballot – a PDF version of the application is available through this link.

Such application must be received at least seven (7) days before the election (Tuesday, September 27, 2022, by 5pm) if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the vote (Monday, October 3, 2022, by 5pm) if the ballot is to be personally picked up by the voter at the Library. The Board of Trustees shall make a list of all persons to whom absentee voter ballots have been issued, and have it available at the Library during regular office hours until the day of election. No absentee voter ballot shall be canvassed unless it is received no later than 5:00 P.M. on the day of the Election.

2023 Proposed Library Budget

District Public Funds $1,278,535
State Aid $7,000
Donations $3,000
Library Charges $7,700
Interest Income $3,700
Professional Fees $58,600
Equipment $21,500
Building Maintenance $104,250
Capital Improvement Projects $223,400
Collection Development $86,550
Supplies $7,400
Contracts with Libraries $31,000
Postage $195
Personnel $506,000
Benefits $212,740
Telecommunications $8,400
Miscellaneous $39,900

Trustee Candidates:

Three (3) candidates are running for three (3) seats on the Board of Trustees and will each serve three (3) years.

Tom McAlister moved to Wappingers Falls in 2018 and joined the Friends of the Grinnell Library in 2022. During his time with the Friends of Grinnell Library, Tom supported fundraising events such as the mahjong tournament and has provided insights into improving fundraising techniques.

Tom received his Masters in Library Information Science from SUNY-Albany and has been a librarian since 2020. If elected to the Board of Trustees, Tom will strive to form strategic relationships with community organizations that will benefit the organization and the Grinnell Library. He will also help secure funding to ensure that the library’s collection, services, and programs meet the community’s needs.

Nicole Morris, a resident of the Village of Wappingers Falls since 2008, believes that the Grinnell Public Library is a special place and wants to ensure that it stays that way. She and her family are frequent library users, borrowing movies and attending programs. She enjoys meeting new people and connecting with neighbors who also have an interest in the library. If elected to the Board, she will promote the library in the community.

Nicole supports the mission of the Grinnell Library, which is to provide free access to a variety of materials to meet the needs of the community. Reading is important to her entire family and so is sharing reading material: “A few years ago, my husband made me a “Little Free Library” for Christmas. It’s beautiful and sits out front of our home. People can take a book and return it or keep it.”

Joseph T. O’Brien is currently serving as an acting Trustee of the Grinnell Library and is seeking election to a full term. During his tenure, he has served on the Governance Committee, and has helped draft the current Exhibits and Display Policy, Gifts Policy, Materials Selection and Access Policy, Remote Meeting Policy, and Public Comment Policy. His goal is to have essential documents in place to ensure a healthy, sustainable library.

He has an Associate’s Degree in Bio Medical Electronics from Johnson College, Scranton PA. He worked at St Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, NY as a Bio Medical Technician for two years. He was later employed by Becton Dickinson as a Senior Field Service Engineer installing and servicing their medical instruments for twenty-two years. At St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY, he worked as a clerk in the ICU. When the EMR was being produced, he was the liaison between the IT department, the doctors and ICU staff.