City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Executive Sessions
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February 18, 2013: Executive Session

There will be a Special Meeting of Council to be held on Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:00pm in Council Chambers to review the plans for the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
Patrick A. Ward, Vice Mayor
Lane A. Schlessel, Councilman
Keith C. Packard, Councilman
February 18, 2013: Executive Session

The Council of the City of Lyndhurst met in Special Session on Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:00 P.M., Vice Mayor Patrick A. Ward, presiding.
Members Present:
Council Representatives: J. A. Gambatese, C. A. LoPresti, J. A. Marko, K. C. Packard, L. A. Schlessel, D. A. Frey.
Others Present: R. F. Porrello, Chief of Police; M. A. Franco, Assistant Clerk of Council; Sari Feldman, Director of Cuyahoga County Public Library; Robert Varley, Chairman of the Board for Cuyahoga County Public Library.
Mr. Ward announced the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Cuyahoga County Public Library's proposed move. Mr. Ward introduced special guests Sari Feldman, Director of Cuyahoga County Public Library and Robert Varley Chairman of the Board for Cuyahoga County Public Library.
Sari Feldman read the following comments into the record:
I am Sari Feldman, Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) Executive Director. With me are Trustees Dale Powers and Robert Varley and a number of members of the Library staff.
1. Let me start by framing our conversation and stressing that CCPL is a system of 28 branches serving 47 communities across Cuyahoga County. We have a responsibility to act in the best interest of the system and the nearly 620,000 residents we serve.
  • When we make decisions as a system, we have to take into account the impact of the decision across the county.
  • Our Facilities Master Plan - of which the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch project is one of 18 projects - is designed to ensure that our community has the benefit of one of nation's very best public library systems while, at the same time, reducing operating costs to stay within our 2.5 tax millage, the lowest of any library system in the county.
  • Guiding our decisions is a focus on ensuring the strength and resilience of our Library system today and into the future.
    -We've earned the Library Journal 5 Star Library designation for libraries our size the past four years, and we topped the list of 5 Star systems for third year in a row.
    -We are currently the busiest public library system in the country with the highest per capita circulation of any library serving a population of our size.

    2. We arrived at our plan for the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch as part of the broader capital improvement program, which is aiming for two outcomes: to enhance service and to reduce our operating costs.
  • Since 2008, we've experienced a reduction in state and local revenue totaling approximately $26 million.
  • Our Board recognized the need to reduce our operating costs while maintaining excellent service. To accomplish this, our Capital Improvement program needed to focus on both efficiency and excellence.
  • We conducted building assessments at every CCPL branch. Those assessments helped us to identify priority projects.
  • The South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch was identified as a priority project.
  • As we explored options for South Euclid-Lyndhurst, we began to consider the best outcomes that would achieve both efficiency and excellent customer service.

    These are the facts:
  • It costs 82% more to circulate material through the 22,000-square-foot South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch than it does to circulate material through our 36,000-square-foot Strongsville Branch because of South Euclid's layout.
  • In order to ensure the safety and security of the public and staff we must over staff the building.
  • Parking on the current site is insufficient - and there's nowhere to expand parking at current site.
  • The Telling Mansion is a historic building in declining condition, which means continued investment in major maintenance and upgrades.
  • CCPL has operated out of the Telling Mansion since the 1950s, when public library service was very different from what it is today.

  • When faced with the question of renovating the existing building, our Board could see that a $5.6 million investment would not result in maximizing efficiency and excellent customer service. It would not achieve a layout conducive to public library service for the 21st century.
  • The South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch not only costs more than other branches, but - even more importantly - it doesn't allow us to provide the level of service that this community deserves. In our current fiscal state, we must do more with reduced funding.
  • Going back to our duty as a county-wide system, CCPL cannot justify continuing to operate in a building that costs more but delivers less.

    3. CCPL will continue to serve as a responsible steward of the historic building.
  • Since moving into the Telling Mansion in 1952, Cuyahoga County Public Library has worked to preserve the building's historic integrity.
  • Now that it is listed for sale, the Library is searching for a partner that will respect and uphold the Telling Mansion's listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • We are working with the Cleveland Restoration Society to help us find a responsible partner and protect the future of the building.
  • We share your desire to find a new purpose for Telling Mansion that best leverages its unique assets.

    4. The new SEU Branch will offer enhanced service at a more reasonable operating cost.
  • We are interested in gathering community input into the NEW branch design.
  • We have hosted two open sessions already focused on listening to the community's interests and needs for the new branch.
  • We have two more community dialogue sessions scheduled:
  • Wednesday, February 27th at the South Euclid Community Center at 7 pm
  • Thursday, March 28th at the Lyndhurst Community Center at 6:30 pm
  • We are in the process of securing a nationally recognized non-profit organization that's dedicated to helping organizations create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our intention is for this group to lead the session in Lyndhurst on March 28th.

    Mr. Gambatese asked when discussions began regarding the move of the library and the process of informing the public of their meetings.
    Mr. Frey stated there is not a better location than the present location to serve both communities and be within walking distance from both the junior and high school.
    Mr. Schlessel expressed concern that residents were not addressed politely when calling with questions. Mr. Schlessel stated that many senior residents have voiced their concern that the distance will prevent them from visiting the library.
    Mr. Ward said bus services are not available to the new location.
    The following citizens voiced their concerns regarding the proposed move of the South Euclid Lyndhurst library:
    Tina Tricarichi, 5610 Chelmsford, Lyndhurst
    Marge Cirillo, 5173 Graham, Lyndhurst
    Renee Epstein, 1855 Winchester, Lyndhurst
    Francine Willis, 5122 Spencer, Lyndhurst
    Peggy Garr, 5473 Kilbourne, Lyndhurst
    Jeff Price, 5372 Chickadee, Lyndhurst
    Dr. Michael Anderson, 5270 Golfway, Lyndhurst
    Richard Clark, 5347 Chickadee, Lyndhurst
    E. Dale Inkley, 5126 E. Farnhurst, Lyndhurst
    Anand Nadar, 5037 Bristol, Lyndhurst
    Elizabeth Anderson, 5270 Golfway, Lyndhurst
    Jody Turk, 1424 Beaconfield, Lyndhurst
    Steve Hamilton, 4997 Delevan, Lyndhurst
    Vilija Klimas, 4893 South Sedgewick, Lyndhurst
    Edward Klimas, 4893 South Sedgewick, Lyndhurst
    Linda Green, 4651 Whitehall, South Euclid
    Kathleen Gulden, 4992 Fairlawn, Lyndhurst
    Barbara Klinger, 4943 Mayfield, Lyndhurst
    It was moved by Mr. Marko, seconded by Mr. Gambatese, that the meeting be adjourned.
    The question was put to a voice vote and passed unanimously.
    Meeting adjourned at 8:02 P.M.

    Information provided by:
    The City of Lyndhurst, Ohio @