James Johnson, Jr., Chair
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
James Martin, Jr., Vice-Chair
William Scheuerle, Secretary
Phone: (813) 273-3660
Fax: (813) 273-3707

Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Board



Mr. mARTIN called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. A quorum was present.


Library Board Members Present:
Jim Johnson, Chair
Laura Vickers, Dora Reeder,
James Martin, Sandra Cameron,
Alma Hires, William Scheuerle,
Bob Argus, Michelle Schofner,
James Harkins, Margaret Fisher
Library Board Excused:
Jim Johnson, Kay O'Rourke

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Library Services;
Linda Gillon, Manager, Programming;
David Wullschleger, Manager, Operations;
Jackie Zebos, Manager, Administrative & Reference Services;

Suzanne George, Chief Librarian;
Gina DuBois, Administrative Services Coordinator;
Barbara Marquette, Administrative Specialist;
Linda Davidson, Assistant County Attorney

Special Guests:

Members of the Public:


Dr. Fisher made the motion that the October 27, 2005 minutes be approved. Mr. Harkins seconded. The motion passed unanimously.





Mr. Martin asked for a change in the agenda. Ms. Cameron made the motion that our guest speak first. Mr. Harkins seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Davidson introduced Mary Helen Campbell, Managing Attorney, Division of Government and Professional Responsibility. She is an acknowledged expert in the areas of Sunshine Law and Public Record. Ms. Campbell also represents the Supervisor of Elections. Ms. Davidson asked Ms. Campbell to speak on the issue of voting conflicts. Ms. Campbell distributed Form 8B Memorandum of Voting Conflict stating that this is a form that is promulgated by the Commission on Ethics, a State Commission that oversees the State's Ethics Code of Florida Statutes, Chapter 112. This code applies to elected officials and to employees and those appointed to serve on government boards. One of the most important provisions of the Ethics Code that applies to this Board is the voting conflict statute.

The law states, "A person on this Board can not vote on any measure that would immure to his or her private special gain or that of their principle or relative." The statute defines who would be included as your relative. The intent behind the rule is to prevent somebody from voting on something that would be of a direct benefit to them, their boss or company, or their relative. Special private gain is determined by how many people would benefit from this vote. For example, if the Board of County Commissioners asked the Library Board to buy a certain type of book and one of the Library Board member's brother owns the Pink Book Company; your relative would have a direct financial gain from that vote. It would be required that the person, who has the conflict, before any discussion or motion, would declare that they have a conflict. That is when Form 8B Memorandum of Voting Conflict should be completed.

When a group of people may benefit, for instance if the Board of County Commissioners were going to vote on changing their Sign Ordinance and one of their brothers owns a sign company. This ordinance would affect everyone who owns signs in the entire County. This is where the Ethics Commission looks at how many sign companies there are, what is the class of people who would benefit, to determine if there were a private gain or loss.

The law treats elected officials differently from appointed officers. An elected official can go into the meeting and argue his point and then say he has a conflict and can not vote. Appointed Officers can participate in the debate but the conflict must be stated up front. Sometimes you do not know where a vote may come up; you may be debating something on which you need to make a recommendation on or act upon, as the discussion ebbs and flows a conflict may present itself. That would be the best time to ask your attorney if that would be a special private gain or loss and should you participate in voting. Should it be determined that you should abstain, it is put in the record and Form 8B Memorandum of Voting Conflict is completed and made part of the minutes. This form has to be filed within 15 days of the vote.

In the Sunshine Law there is a provision that states, "If you are on a Board you have to vote, unless you have a conflict or the appearance of a conflict." The Sunshine Law forces you to vote. Dr. Scheuerle asked, "Abstention is not a vote?" Ms. Campbell stated that is correct. You abstain from voting. Even if you know you are going to have one issue to vote on and you have someone who has a conflict and can not vote, you count that person for purposes of a quorum of the body but you act as if they are not there as far as the vote. It does not change the majority number.

Mr. Stines asked, "What if a Director working with this Board received a letter from a citizen after a particular vote stating that there was a problem." Ms. Campbell stated that as soon as it comes to the Director's attention if it appears that the Form should have been filed, to do so as soon as possible and indicate on the Form that this was not known at the time of the vote and file with the minutes where the vote was recorded.



Chair, Bill Scheuerle stated that the Committee reviewed the September 30, 2005 budget and the proposed 2006 budget. The 2005 budget will be changed due to reappropriation in the amount of $570,000. Character 30-046, Repair and Maintenance Services, this year was approximately $798,000 and will increase to $1,732,000. The Committee received a list of unprioritized maintenance projects that are to be completed during 2006. Under Capital Outlay Character 60, the increase is due to an increase in the book/publication budget.

Mr. Stines stated that the reappropriation would allow the Library to carry over money for expenses that were encumbered but not paid for before the end of the fiscal year. It is expected that the Management and Budget Department will recommend approval by the Board of County Commissioners.


Chair, James Martin stated that the Committee had discussed renewing the contract with the City of Tampa. Mr. Stines stated that he and staff had met with the City of Tampa Real Estate Director who has since been released from service with the City. Since the meeting, Mr. Stines and Mr. Wullschleger have met with County Real Estate staff and are following up on reclaiming the third floor of the John F. Germany Library west building as well as a limited renewal period for its fourth floor.

Mr. Wullschleger received a letter from WilsonMiller representing the Wolf Creek developer which is 1.5 miles west of the SouthShore Library, offering a library site. The Committee asked Mr. Wullschleger to thank them but to refuse their offer since it is so close to the SouthShore Library.

Mr. Stines stated that Mr. Wullschleger is going to bring back an analysis of any County owned land or any other land that might be accessible that is located on a main highway and accessible to more people in the Fishhawk area. Mr. Martin asked Mr. Wullschleger to make a report at the January meeting.

The Committee also discussed the possibility of purchasing land from the School Board for additional parking at the Seminole Library. Mr. Wullschleger will report at the January meeting.

Mr. Stines stated that the Cybermobile did not meet the specifications and has been rejected by the County Fleet Department. Some of the noted defects--windows were upside down, rivets were rusted, and it had several leaks. Negotiations are currently on-going.

Mr. Stines stated that he met with Supervisor of Elections, Buddy Johnson and his staff to discuss early voting for 2006. Mr. Stines hopes to make use of this as a reason to expedite the parking lot project at the Riverview Library and to ease congestion by using additional libraries. According to the early voting law, the Supervisor of Elections is restricted to using only his office, libraries, and City Halls as early voting precincts.

Mr. Martin stated that the Committee had also discussed the possibility of providing after hours access to the Sulphur Springs school library to the community. Mr. Stines is going to follow up with the School Board.

The 2006 Maintenance Projects list was reviewed at the Committee meeting.


Chair, Laura Vickers stated that the Committee has received documentation regarding the naming of the John Crawford Studio at the SouthShore Library and feels that it meets all the criteria for the naming of a room and recommends to the Board that they approve the naming of the John Crawford Studio at the SouthShore Library. Ms. Cameron made the motion to name the John Crawford Studio. Mr. Harkins seconded. Discussion followed. The motion passed unanimously.

The Committee discussed the request from the Board of County Commissioners to post a bulletin board in each library with a list of sexual predators that live within five miles of that library.

The Review of Library Materials Policy was also discussed. A copy will be sent to the Library Board members for review and approval at the January meeting.












Ms. Davidson stated that a law enacted by the State of Illinois which prohibits the sale and/or rental of graphically violent videos and sexually explicit videos to minors without parental consent was recently struck down as being in violation of the First Amendment.


Mr. Stines mentioned that the Lutz Library Reading Room dedication has been delayed due to Ms. Swisshelm's accident. The Public Relations and Partnerships staff will coordinate with Ms. Swisshelm.

Ms. Zebos discussed performance measures and statistics for the library. The Mission and Key Objectives page was distributed and Ms. Zebos stated that this was the main tool that the County uses to hold each department accountable for their budgets. This is following a nationwide trend toward government accountability.

Due to the increasing size of the library system and the complexity of the services being provided, the County is requiring more accountability from the library in terms of its ability to report these statistics in a meaningful way. The current means of collecting these statistics is not sophisticated enough to retrieve all the data. The new format will allow the library to report information in a way that is more meaningful, easier to understand, and will provide a better picture of the types of things being done in the library. The purpose is to meet the needs of both the County and the Library Board for oversight of the library department and other agencies that we need to report to such as the State Library.

Staff has developed an interim statistical report to be distributed to the Library Board as they continue working on the transition. The overview form is divided into the four main categories: Circulation, Reference, Programming, and Member Services. The second page will contain the monthly circulation statistics and the percentage of change over the last year. By transitioning to this new system staff will be able to provide special reports about the library system.

Mr. Argus asked how much historical data will be available and since it is web-based will it be available to the general public? Ms. Zebos stated that historical data will be input but there has been no discussion about opening it to the public. Mr. Stines stated that he would discuss it with the County Attorney and County Administration. Ms. Zebos stated that it would be feasible to make the reports available to the public but that we may not be able to provide them with access to create the reports themselves. Mr. Stines stated that the information could be posted to the web site.

Ms. Zebos stated that another part of this report is a special quarterly report that uses some statistical information along with some narrative and other information about services in the Library. The example used was Chat Reference. Mr. Stines stated that any of the activities that are provided through the Library could be created through a quarterly report. Mr. Stines asked Principal Librarian Andrew Breidenbaugh to explain about Chat Reference. Mr. Stines stated that Chat Reference allows patrons to go to the Library's web page and click Ask a Librarian and get their reference questions answered. This is especially helpful in small branches that do not have a librarian available at all times. Mr. Breidenbaugh stated that you enter a screen name, enter an e-mail address, although it is not required; and ask your question. The librarian responds to you in real time.

Mr. Stines briefed the Library Board on the Dolly Parton Imagination Project. A follow-up staff report was accepted by the Board of County Commissioners. Mr. Stines and Patrice Koerper have obtained letters of support from the Children's Board, Hillsborough County Department of Children's Services, and the School System. The Library System will launch a campaign to raise $134,000. The current cost is $30 per child per year and they are mailed a book each month by the Foundation. The United Way has agreed to be the 501c3 agency and the School District has identified six zip codes where children have failing FCAT scores


Budget - Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 1:00 p.m. at the John F. Germany Public Library

Planning - Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 2:00 p.m. at the John F. Germany Public Library

Policy & Bylaws - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:00 p.m. at the Brandon Regional Public Library

Library Board - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 4:00 p.m. at the Brandon Regional Public Library


The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: January 26, 2006
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: Brandon Regional Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise.

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