Teresa Robbins, of Stanford, was back in Fiscal Court Tuesday to ask magistrates why they had not moved forward on her request for them to hold a meeting to discuss problems she sees with the Lincoln County Public Library. Robbins last appeared on Feb. 14 representing a group of library patrons that wanted the current board members removed from office. Citing Kentucky law, Robbins told magistrates that it was in their power to remove board members in cases of inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance or conflict of interest. At the time, County Attorney Daryl Day told Robbins that there needed to be a hearing with interested parties producing evidence to substantiate their claims and offering board members an opportunity to present evidence and speak in their own defense.
Robbins told the magistrates that 30-days had passed since she made her request and wanted to know what action had been taken. Short answer: none.
Judge Executive Jim Adams told the court that there was a bill passing through the Kentucky legislature that would empower magistrates to remove board members of separate taxing entities like the library, but he had been told that the bill would not make it out of the committee discussing it. He told Robbins that one board member was up for reappointment this summer and two more next year and felt that was a better time to replace them. “I don’t feel it’s prudent at this time,” he said.
Day weighed in telling Robbins that neither of the two head librarians that have quit the job under the current board have demonstrated any interest in testifying during a hearing.
Robbins rejoined, “That does not change the fact the a motion (to hold a hearing) was made and seconded.” Robbins requested several times that the court recorder read the minutes of the Feb. meeting, saying that the Fiscal Court had agreed to hold a hearing and was finally told that the minutes were available on the first floor of the courthouse for anyone who was interested in reading them.
Magistrate David Faulkner, who was not at the meeting in question said, “I get the feeling that the only way we are going to satisfy you is to remove board members.”
Day recommended again against a hearing telling magistrates, “If we’re going to start having hearings we all better clear our calendars because every local that has an agenda against a board member can walk in and ask for a special called meeting. I think in light of the good coverage there has been, if there are members of the public with evidence they would have come forward.”
Faulkner added “I don’t care to go on the record saying that I personally would like to see some new blood on the library board, but I’ve yet to have anyone come forward and say, “I was mistreated,” or “I was wronged.””
Magistrate Dexter Todd said that he felt the turmoil in the library was, “Not just a black mark on the library, but a black mark on the Fiscal Court,” and wondered aloud whether the library was even serving people outside of the county. “We’ve got a new building sitting there, who knows how much it cost...and a jail should have been built before a library.”
Magistrates did not take any action on Robbins request.
In other business, the court agreed to the auction of 18 pieces of surplus Road Department equipment including graders, dozers, dump trucks and tractors. Road Supervisor Bo Gander received permission to use the proceeds to buy at least one surplus grader from the state.
Lincoln-Garrard Solid Waste Coordinator Chris Thomason asked the court to consider adopting a new nuisance ordinance that would consolidate the investigation of complaints in his department. Saying that the Nuisance Board is backlogged with complaints, Thomason said that he could put a person on the job full time doing investigation and enforcement. “We’ve been doing it this way in Garrard County for years with a lot of success,” Thomason said.
Magistrates asked to table the proposal to give them time to digest it and propose any changes.