Relates to the membership and duties of the board of trustees and the oversight of the executive director and key library executive personnel of the Queens Borough Public Library.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 164 of the laws of 1907 relating to the incorporation of the Queens Borough Public Library, in relation to the membership and duties of the board of trustees and the oversight of the executive director and key library executive personnel
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Alters the terms by which the Queens Borough Public Library Trustees serve from five years to two, provides for the removal of Trustees for cause by the appointing authorities, and requires that Trustees either be residents of the borough of Queens or own or operate a business in the borough of Queens. Also, reforms the committee structure by which the Board of Trustees oversees the executive director and other library personnel.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends Section 164 of the laws of 1907 relating to the Queens Borough Public Library altering the length of term per trustee to two years and creating a process whereby a trustee can be removed from the board for cause with the consent of both appointing parties.
Chapter 164 of the laws of 1907 is also amended by adding sections 4-a, 9-b, and 9-c. Sections 9-a and 9-b require the alteration of the committee structure by which the board of trustees oversees the Queens Borough Public Library. These sections require the creation of an audit committee to oversee the library's accounting and financial reporting process, the creation of a labor committee to address labor issues and the contracting out of services, the abolishment of the administrative committee, and the creation of an executive committee to take on the essential functions or duties of the administrative committee.
JUSTIFICATION: Recently, a number of issues have come to light regarding the Queens Borough Public Library's ("QBPL") executive director's salary, gaudy spending and the lack of proper oversight by the Board of Trustees. Good governance and a well administered Board of Trustees is crucial to an efficient and transparent library system. The reforms detailed in this bill will improve the Board's oversight and governance of the institution moving forward by restructuring the board of trustees and its main governing committee. The bill also requires several "best practice" reforms that include the creation of an audit committee and a labor relations committee, the requirement that key QBPL staff file financial disclosure forms, limiting the outside employment of key QBPL staff and requiring QBPL Board of Trustee approval of key QBPL staff before they are hired.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately after it becomes law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6893 IN SENATE March 26, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend chapter 164 of the laws of 1907 relating to the incorpo- ration of the Queens Borough Public Library, in relation to the membership and duties of the board of trustees and the oversight of the executive director and key library executive personnel THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3 of chapter 164 of the laws of 1907 relating to the incorporation of the Queens Borough Public Library, as amended by chapter 561 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows: S 3. The corporation shall organize by the adoption of by-laws and the election of officers. The by-laws shall provide for the terms of office of the trustees of the corporation, not to exceed the period of five years, PROVIDED, THAT TRUSTEES APPOINTED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2015 SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS, excepting that the mayor, comptroller, public advocate and speaker of the city council of the city of New York and the president of the borough of Queens, shall at all times be members of the board ex-officio AND SUCH EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS MAY DESIGNATE A REPRESENTATIVE TO SERVE EX-OFFICIO IN HIS OR HER PLACE. The trustees shall hereafter be chosen and vacancies occurring in such office filled by an appointment which shall alternate between the mayor of the city of New York and the president of the Borough of Queens; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT TRUSTEES MUST BE EITHER A RESIDENT OF QUEENS OR OWN OR OPERATE A BUSINESS IN QUEENS; AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT THE APPOINTING PARTY SHALL NOTIFY THE OTHER APPOINTING PARTY OF WHO WAS APPOINTED. THE APPOINTING PARTY SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO REMOVE A TRUSTEE WHOM SUCH PARTY APPOINTED IF, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BY-LAWS ADOPTED BY THE CORPORATION, THERE IS REASONABLE CAUSE FOR SUCH REMOVAL. THE APPOINTING PARTY SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A RECOMMENDATION FROM THE BOARD TO REMOVE A TRUSTEE WHICH SUCH PARTY APPOINTED. A TRUSTEE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL SHALL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A RESPONSE OR APPEAL TO ANY CAUSE FOR REMOVAL TO THE APPOINTING PARTY AND THE APPOINT- ING PARTY SHALL REVIEW THE REASON FOR REMOVAL AND ANY RESPONSE SUBMITTEDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14219-04-4 S. 6893 2
TO THE PARTY PRIOR TO THE REMOVAL OF SUCH PERSON. WHEN THE BOARD RECOM- MENDS REMOVAL, THE TRUSTEE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL MAY APPEAL TO BOTH APPOINTING PARTIES AND EITHER APPOINTING PARTY MAY REMOVE THE TRUSTEE WHERE SUFFICIENT CAUSE IS FOUND. WHEN ONE OF THE APPOINTING PARTIES RECOMMENDS REMOVAL OF A TRUSTEE, SUCH APPOINTING PARTY MUST PROVIDE THE SUBJECT TRUSTEE WITH NOTICE AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE TRUSTEE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL BY AN APPOINTING BODY MAY SUBMIT A WRITTEN APPEAL TO BOTH APPOINTING PARTIES FOR REVIEW AND BOTH PARTIES MUST AGREE ON REMOVAL FOR SUCH REMOVAL TO BE EFFECTIVE. The corporation shall have power from time to time to make such rules and regulations as the trustees thereof shall judge proper for the accom- plishment of the objects of the corporation, for the election of offi- cers, for prescribing their respective functions and the mode of discharging the same, for imposing and collecting dues, fines and contributions, for regulating the times and places of meetings, and generally for the management and direction of the affairs and concerns of the said corporation. The trustees shall have absolute control of the expenditure of all moneys appropriated by the city of New York for the maintenance of libraries conducted, or to be conducted by the corpo- ration in the borough of Queens, and shall have the power to appoint and fix the salaries of such officers and employees as they shall deem necessary, who, unless employed under special contract, shall hold their offices during the pleasure of the trustees, but no trustee shall receive compensation as such, and the authority of the trustees to so make and regulate expenditures for maintenance, and their right to select, employ, fix salaries and discharge employees, shall be absolute under this act, any acts of the legislature of the state of New York to the contrary notwithstanding. S 2. Chapter 164 of the laws of 1907 relating to the incorporation of the Queens Borough Public Library is amended by adding three new sections 4-a, 9-b and 9-c to read as follows: S 4-A. A. THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND KEY LIBRARY EXECUTIVE PERSONNEL SHALL COMPLY WITH FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS WHEN PUBLIC MONEY IS USED TO FUND STAFF SALARIES. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "PUBLIC MONEY" SHALL MEAN MONEY FROM THE STATE OR COUNTY OR A TOWN, VILLAGE, OR CITY. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL ADOPT BY-LAWS REQUIRING MANDATORY ANNUAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND OTHER KEY LIBRARY EXECUTIVE PERSONNEL. B. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL ADOPT BY-LAWS LIMITING THE TYPE AND EXTENT OF EMPLOYMENT THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND ANY KEY LIBRARY EXECU- TIVE PERSONNEL MAY ENGAGE IN OTHER THAN HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT WITH THE LIBRARY. SUCH BY-LAWS SHALL REQUIRE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND THE KEY LIBRARY EXECUTIVE PERSONNEL TO REPORT ANY EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT WITH THE LIBRARY TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND SHALL REQUIRE THE BOARD TO APPROVE SUCH EMPLOYMENT. C. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL ADOPT BY-LAWS REGARDING THE APPROVAL FOR HIRING AND ESTABLISHING POLICIES FOR THE COMPENSATION OF KEY LIBRARY EXECUTIVE PERSONNEL. S 9-B. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL APPOINT: A. AN AUDIT COMMITTEE WHICH SHALL OVERSEE THE LIBRARY'S ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING PROCESSES AND ANNUAL AUDITS. THE AUDIT COMMITTEE SHALL RETAIN AN AUDITOR, REVIEW THE SCOPE AND PLANNING OF ALL AUDITS WITH THE AUDITOR AND REVIEW AND DISCUSS THE RESULTS. THE AUDIT COMMITTEE SHALL CONSIDER THE AUDITOR'S PERFORMANCE AND INDEPENDENCE AND REPORT ANNUALLY ON THE AUDITOR'S ACTIVITIES TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.S. 6893 3
B. AN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE WHICH SHALL BE COMPRISED OF A REPRESENTATIVE CROSS-SECTION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL ABOLISH THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE AND ANY ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OR DUTIES OF SUCH COMMITTEE SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMIT- TEE. C. A LABOR RELATIONS COMMITTEE TO ADDRESS LABOR ISSUES AND OVERSEE THE CONTRACTING OUT OF SERVICES. S 9-C. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL ESTABLISH BY-LAWS PROHIBITING A PERSON WITH A CONFLICT OF INTEREST FROM BEING PRESENT AT OR PARTICIPAT- ING IN ANY DELIBERATIONS OR VOTING ON THE MATTER GIVING RISE TO THE CONFLICT. THE BY-LAWS SHALL ALSO PROHIBIT THE PERSON WITH THE CONFLICT FROM IMPROPERLY INFLUENCING THE DELIBERATION OR VOTING ON SUCH MATTER. ANY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE BOARD OF TRUS- TEES OR THE AUDIT COMMITTEE SHALL BE DOCUMENTED IN THE MINUTES OF ANY MEETING AT WHICH SUCH CONFLICT WAS DISCUSSED. S 3. The board of trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library shall engage an outside consultant with the requisite expertise to conduct and complete a comprehensive executive compensation study within ninety days of the date this act shall have become a law. Such study shall include, but not be limited to, a review of acceptable fringe benefits, including car allowances and tuition reimbursements. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.