Two New Library Board Seats Filled
Middletown Township Committee fulfills recently passed ordinance expanding board membership from seven to nine members.
A local attorney and a member of the township's Human Rights Commission will sit in the two new chairs added by local law to the Middletown Township Public Library Board of Trustees this year.
Lawrence Nelsen, one of four members on the downsized Human Rights Commission, and Michael Convery, a lawyer with an office in the township, will sit in the chairs designated by the Middletown Township Committee as "Seat VIII" and "Seat IX."
Nelsen and Convery were named to individual, five-year terms on the trustee board at the township's annual reorganization meeting on Sunday. Their appointments fulfill a township ordinance unanimously accepted by the committee on Dec. 19 that increased the trustee board membership from seven to nine members.
Middletown Township Public Schools Superintendent William George is expected to name a township Board of Education designee at a later date.
Altogether, the library board actually has four new members for this year. Freshman Committeewoman Stephanie Murray is now on the panel for a one-year term as Mayor Tony Fiore's designee. Brock Siebert, a trustee of the Lincroft First Aid Squad, succeeds Gregory Milne, who was not re-appointed by the governing body.
Milne, who had served as the board's vice president, voted against a motion to "unrestrict" or return $499,947 from the library's $1.2 million surplus to the township committee for property tax relief in March.
The library's $700,000 in surplus swelled by $500,000 in late 2010 when the state government provided those funds to the trustees. The influx of cash resulted from an updated reassessment showing a drop in township property values according to Fiore.
Fiore had maintained that the transfer of funds from the library surplus to township coffers was a one-time event that will not be repeated.
The library trustees will oversee a $3.8 million budget for calendar year 2012 to cover expenses at the main branch at 55 New Monmouth Road and three satellite branches in Port Monmouth, Lincroft and Navesink. Of that amount, $3.6 million comes from taxpayers via the township committee. The balance will be drawn from surplus, leftover savings from the 2010 budget, and revenues from copying and book fines.