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Bronxville Mayor Responds to Library Lawsuit

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Although the lawsuit against Bronxville officials filed by former Library Director Laura Eckley has been withdrawn Mayor Mary Marvin broke her silence on the matter Tuesday.

In her weekly blog, Marvin said the Library Board and Village Board took away an $18,000 raise given to Eckley because of a lack of funds. Marvin said that incorrect or erroneous financial information was given to the library board and the money to pay Eckley was simply not available.

"When complete financial information was later presented to the library board, it became clear that they did not have sufficient money without cutting and reducing other line items in the budget to fund the raise," Marvin wrote. "Since what is done by resolution can be undone by resolution, the board, who are a dedicated group of residents very conscious of their stewardship of our tax dollars, sought to rectify the situation in a subsequent meeting."

Eckley worked at the Bronxville Library for nine years and was made acting director in 2009 and director in 2010. She said she did not want to comment on Marvin's statement.

"I prefer not to respond to the Mayor’s editorial.  I have taken an exciting new position, although I will always cherish my time in service to the people of Bronxville," said Eckley, who is the director of the Larchmont Library.  "I am moving forward and I  hope the Mayor will do the same."

In October Eckley received a letter from the Library Board of Trustees praising her work and presenting her with a raise of just more than $18,000. The raise was approved by the Village Board at its October meeting. A few weeks later, however, the raise was rescinded by the board and a raise of $3,500 was given instead along with a stipend of $7,406, which was slated to be dispersed over a six month period.

On Dec. 15, Eckley filed an Article 78 proceeding seeking the raise she was promised.

Marvin gave high marks to the library board, which she said could have opted to give Eckley the raise but chose not to.

"I admire them greatly. The easier path would have been to just leave the raise in place," Marvin said. "It would never have reached the public forum and the money could be found by trimming hours of operation or book budgets."

Marvin seemed to be glad to put the matter to rest, but said the lawsuit did have negative repercussions.

"This whole unfortunate episode clearly illustrates that the pen is mightier than the sword and untrue words are truly hurtful," Marvin said. "I understand quite clearly now why good people say no when asked to volunteer in government."

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