Florida Public Library’s annual budget vote and trustee election will take place on Thurs., Apr. 6 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the library, located at 4 Cohen Cir. in Florida. All registered voters in the Florida Union Free School District are eligible to vote. Absentee ballots are available until Wed., Apr. 5. Copies of the budget are available at the circulation desk or online at www.floridapubliclibrary.org.
Two propositions will be on the ballot: the approval of a tax levy of $443,940 for the annual operation of the library and the election of three trustees. The proposed tax levy is an increase of $15,590 over the current year. Estimated 2017-2018 tax rates per $1,000 of assessed property value are $5.43 for the Town of Warwick, an increase of .19, and $1.25 for the Town of Goshen, an increase of .04.
The open seats on the library board, with terms commencing Sat., Jul. 1 are those of Nancy Scott, William Kelemen and Beth Pskowski, who is retiring after five years’ service on the board due to work commitments. Candidates for the three seats are incumbents Scott and Kelemen and newcomer Lee Maas. Two seats are for full three-year terms and one seat is for a one-year term, the balance of Ian Murphy’s term (he moved from the district.) The candidate who receives the fewest votes will earn the one-year term.
Candidates for Library Trustee Seats
Nancy Scott has lived in Florida for 35 years and is retired from Orange County’s Computer Information Systems Department. She has a B.A. degree in Psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh and an A.A. in Computer Information Systems from SUNY Orange. She has been a library trustee for eleven years and has served as Secretary and President. She also holds leadership positions in American Legion Auxiliary Post 1250, the Flor-Wick Friends and is an active member of the Seward-Mapes Homestead Restoration and the Friends of the FPL. Her favorite thing about the library is “the friendly and helpful staff and the wonderful programs for all ages.” As a trustee, she hopes to make the community more aware of all the library’s collections, programs and technology that are available free to all residents.
Bill Kelemen is a native of Florida who was elected to the library board in 2013 as its youngest trustee ever. He is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton with a B.A. degree in Psychology. He works for the Mental Health Association as a Medicaid Service Coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition to helping with library fundraisers and book sales, he volunteers for the Orange County Helpline as an operator for crisis management, information and referrals to services in the county. Kelemen feels that he is a voice for younger patrons and brings their perspective to board deliberations, using communication and problem solving skills gained through his work. His favorite thing about the library is its accessibility and the ability to find books, movies and articles right in FPL, through inter-library loan or the Overdrive app. He says, “If I can’t find it myself, the library staff is always happy to make it happen.” He hopes to encourage further outreach to non-users through efforts like the recent door-to-door campaign.
Lee Maas has lived in Florida since 1995 with his wife, Beth, and their three children. He is a native of Wisconsin whose 34-year career in the automotive industry has led him from Memphis to Knoxville to Buffalo to Detroit to Orange County. He is the Vice President of Development for Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC and is currently overseeing the expansion of its corporate headquarters in Mahwah. Maas has served as the financial secretary for the First Presbyterian Church for twelve years and is involved in the construction of the new Florida Community Food Pantry building. He has also coached Little League and Youth Soccer in Florida. He has a B.S. degree in Business and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. He looks forward to bringing his experience in finance, management and construction to FPL. He sees the library as one of the “crown jewels in the Village,” serving as a meeting place and focal point for the community. His favorite thing about FPL is its bronze garden statue memorializing local teen and family friend, Madeline Pillmeier, who, he says, “had a thirst for knowledge and loved the library.” Maas believes that “change will be the one constant” in how the library serves the community; he would like to be a leader in meeting that challenge.
Library Events on Thurs., Apr. 6
In addition to the vote, several other events will take place at FPL on Election Day. At 10:30 a.m., a trio of animals from the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum will visit for a family program especially geared for preschoolers, but open to all ages. The program will emphasize a conservation theme as children learn that wild animals are not pets and must be protected in their habitats. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
From 4 to 6 p.m., FPL’s 3D printer will be working and on display for STEAM lovers of all ages to drop by, observe and have their questions answered by a library staff member. In the evening from 6 to 8 p.m., “An Evening with Marc Mathelier” will feature the guitarist in a solo performance of songs ranging from classical jazz to new age. Listeners are invited to stop by for music and refreshments in our café, which will be set up in the children’s room. Registration for programs is now open online or by phone.
For more information on FPL’s Election Day or programs for all ages, call Director Madelyn Folino at 651-7659 or visit www.floridapubliclibrary.org.