Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mayor and BP ax library board members

From the Queens Courier:

Eight trustees of the Queens Library were banished from the board in a sudden email blitz Wednesday.

Six members were dismissed by Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor Bill de Blasio cut loose two board members.

The eight members cut loose were Joseph R. Ficalora, Jacqueline E. Arrington, Patricia Flynn, William Jefferson, Grace Lawrence, Terri C. Mangino, George Stamatiades and Stephen Van Anden.

Van Anden and Flynn were the mayoral appointees.

One of the trustees fired by Katz, who wished to remain anonymous, called the move “politics at its worst.”

“I got a letter emailed to me today,” the former trustee said. “I’m not surprised. I’m okay. I’m not shocked; I was waiting for it.”

The firings came after a protracted battle over the tenure of library director Tom Galante, who drew fire after a smoking deck was built outside his office in the Central Library in Jamaica as well as revelations that he augmented his $400,000 salary with more than $200,000 in part-time pay from the Elmont, L.I., school district.

Lawmakers reacted strongly and recently enacted legislation gave politicians the power to summarily remove board members.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

And revoke their library cards too!

r185 said...

Although I don't think it's a good idea that trustees can now be removed so easily, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

Snake Plissskin said...

As if downtown Flushing, Flushing Meadows and Roosevelt Ave is not enough to show inept leadership and corruption in high places, now even the library is full of sleaze.

This borough cannot govern itself. It should be made a ward of Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Will they replace them with their political pals?

Nora from Dutch Kills said...

George Stamatiades?

Happened about two decades too late for my community in Dutch Kills or its 'civic'.

Now look into his work at CALDC, Elmezzi, and the community board.

Do not look through the window at the hotel 5 feet from my son's room.

Anonymous said...

Next, rumors abound about that other graduate from the library, Jimmy No Brainer: his 'conncetions' made there are one of the reasons, rumor has it, that he got where he is today.

Its sure to hell not from his support of the community or the arts!

Anonymous said...

Will they replace them with their political pals?

Why not? Political pals were removed.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting as it is instructive that when you go to the main library branch in Jamaica and read the wall with names of present and past trustees, you can see that when the library first opened, it was run by scholars and real civic leaders (they existed at one time in Queens, not the ass-kissing hacks we have today)

In the past several decades, the library was a who's who of developers with one person that had a library experience (the 'beard') and one hanger on from the days decades ago when cultural people were associated with that institution.

I doubt they will do an audit of the books that will go back at least a decade to two. I wager an entire generation of Queens leaders and developers would be in hot water if they did.

Casting a cloud on that elite that has run this borough into the ground could be a game changer for us but you know that will not happen.

Believe me, it goes a hell of la lot deeper than Galante's smoking lounge.

Actually met the fellow and found him a rather nice person compared to the sleazebags that surrounded him on the board.

Anonymous said...

Trustees should be those who can raise funds and garner support for the library. It's easy to say that 85 percent of the library's budget comes from the public, but why not do more to supplement it?

Anonymous said...

Trustees should be those who can raise funds and garner support for the library. It's easy to say that 85 percent of the library's budget comes from the public, but why not do more to supplement it?

Because all community money in Queens is harvested for Washington and Albany. Support for their institutions are part of a market basket of 'benefits' in exchange.

Joe Moretti said...

And how about an investigation into the Queens Borough President's office. Most of Queens is crap, so what exactly is that office doing.

Anonymous said...

Well, Joe, so far it's cleaning up the library board and has saved the state pavilion. That's the high-profile stuff at least. Melinda Katz is doing a great job so far.

Queens Crapper said...

How did she "clean up" the library board? Who are the replacements and why did she leave Ms. Mattone on the board?

How did she "save" the Pavilion? She threw a relatively small amount of money at something that needs many millions to repair and reuse.

Joe Moretti said...

Anon said:

Well, Joe, so far it's cleaning up the library board and has saved the state pavilion. That's the high-profile stuff at least. Melinda Katz is doing a great job so far.

-------------------

Do you people really, I mean really believe your own shit. No wonder Queens is so fucked up.

Anonymous said...

Fire eight members of the board who voted against your combined wishes and then claim you did it to increase transparency.

They really think we are idiots.

Problem is a lot of idiots vote and will re-elect these two dimwits to office.

Anonymous said...

The Daily News editorialized that Galante should be next on the hit list.

Anonymous said...

Right on answer Queens Crapper.

Anonymous said...

Crappy said:
How did she "clean up" the library board? Who are the replacements and why did she leave Ms. Mattone on the board?

Mattone (a Mayoral appointee) was the only one of the nine trustees who had voted "no" on forcing Galante to take a leave of absence to survive this "purge" - the other eight are in the process of being removed. They have a week to appeal. Obviously, we don't know yet whom Katz and de Blasio will name to replace them. And there has been no explanation why de Blasio chose to keep Mattone.

Yes, it is quite troubling to have politicians intervening in such a way, but I think it has been an extraordinary situation where these Trustees have ignored their responsibilities for years - and some of whom seem to have lifetime appointments. One of the trustees who was removed, Mangino, had been on the Board since 1972!

ron s said...

It's possible that this is a first step on an eventual clean up of the mess. Replace the Board, investigate/charge/convict/fire Galante, put on Board members with actual priorities and experience consistent with a library mission, begin to improve the library system....yes, it's a disgusting mess and we are all at fault for the low-lifes we end up with, but maybe we can slowly grind this toward a small victory for Queens.

Anonymous said...

Let's see who they are replaced with. I don't trust our BP or our Mayor.