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New Bronxville Library Director Search Costs $7,500

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – The search for a new Bronxville Public Library director has cost taxpayers $7,500 to date and could drive the tab for voiding a pay raise to the former director to $14,000 more than the actual raise.

Library board President Rosanne Welshimer and Trustee Chris Zufelt told the board Wednesday night that about $7,500 had been spent for consultant fees and expenses related to the search of a permanent library director. More than 20 candidates are being considered and interviews are underway this week with the goal of a final selection in early May, they added.

“The search committee is expending great energy to identify very promising candidates for consideration,” Welshimer said.

Former Library Director Laura Eckley left her post last January to head the Larchmont Public Library after suing the Village of Bronxville, its mayor and the Bronxville Library for nulling an $18,500 pay raise one month after notifying her of it last October. She had not requested the increase and was informed of it via a letter that also praised her work. The suit was later dropped.

On Wednesday, the board approved a payout of about $25,000 in fees to two law firms for work related to that lawsuit, spending approximately $6,400 more than the raise itself.

Additionally, village officials are challenging a denial of the claim for an insurance reimbursement of that amount.

Welshimer took over as head of the library board this week, replacing interim-President Kathy Mullen, who has been appointed as vice-president. New members Allison Devlin and Peter Thorp additionally joined the eight-member board for this week’s meeting per appointment by the village mayor and board, replacing outgoing trustees Joe Peddy and Karen Falk.

“I’m a life-long resident of Bronxville and have used the library always,” Devlin said. “This is a chance for me to give back to the place that’s given so much to me and my family.”

Newly-elected Village Trustee Guy Longobardo was also introduced to the library board as the incoming liaison to the village board, replacing Anne Poorman.

In his last report to the board as chair of the village facilities committee, Peddy said the second floor of the library could be closed for a week in May, dislocating children’s programs, to facilitate the replacement of the linoleum flooring that has deteriorated. The library has incurred a charge of $3,200 for the removal and reassembly of the book shelves there and the purchase of some additional shelves, he added.

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