Central Public Library digs into reserves

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CENTRAL MANITOULIN – Councillor Derek Stephens found himself the odd man out when it came time to pass a $70,000 allocation for Central Manitoulin Public Library’s annual budget (with the remainder coming from the library reserves), citing what he characterized as the micromanagement of a free-standing board and the forcing of the library to turn to its reserves in 2022.

“This is another example where we have tried to micromanage the library board,” he said, noting that the library board does its work independent of council, yet council saw fit to cut the library’s allocation from council, forcing the library board to raid its reserves.

“We don’t like using up our own reserves, yet here we are forcing them to dig into theirs,” he said, asking why council does not do the same with the police board or District Services Board. “I don’t think we should micromanage.”

Central Manitoulin CAO/clerk Ruth Frawley interjected that there are only two opportunities for council to “have any say” in the library operations. “Number one is the budget and the second is with appointments.”

“I don’t see it as micromanaging,” responded Mayor Richard Stephens.

Councillor Stephens was the only vote in opposition to the motion.