John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor Freezes Budget for 2021; Extends Trustee Terms

The John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor. Dana Shaw

Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library Board of Trustees will not present a new budget to voters this September, but instead will move forward with the same spending plan it adopted in 2020 for 2021, JJML Director Catherine Creedon said in an email last Thursday. The library board made the decision as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In a show of support for the community, we are not holding a budget vote this year, so taxpayer funding will remain at 2020 levels,” Ms. Creedon said. “Because the Trustee election is tied to the budget vote, and there are expenses involved in that vote, as well as ongoing uncertainty about whether or not we would be able to hold an in-building vote, the board voted [on Wednesday, August 19] to extend the terms of the two trustees up for re-election this fall for one year, with their positions listed on the ballot next fall as two-year-trustee terms. Also on the ballot next year will be three openings for trustees for the usual three-year term.”

The trustees who were up for re-election this year were Gloria Brown and Bill McCoy; both will now serve another year on the board before their seats are up for re-election.
Sag Harbor voters overwhelmingly approved the 2020 budget for JJML in September, approving the $3.092 million budget, 231-35, and electing Patricia McCormick, Michael Garabedian and Bob Weinstein to the board in a contested race that had six candidates vying for three seats.

“We also know that the community may have increased, and as yet unknown, needs in the months ahead — and my colleagues and I, as well as the board, are continuing to look at ways we can serve during these times,” Ms. Creedon said. “Both our ‘by-appointment’ browsing and Plaza Pick-up services have been much used. And we have public computers, print stations, and the copier/scanner rearranged for safe, socially distanced use. We are not yet able to host in-person events, but our online programming continues to be popular — and our teen Battle of the Books team won first place this year, excelling in the Zoom-based online-trivia world.”

Ms. Creedon noted the library was also working with the Sag Harbor School District to help support student learning and has engaged a bilingual social worker who will work at the library for a few hours per week to help families navigate technology and the challenges that come with remote learning.