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ACFL may eliminate life trustee position

Staff Writer

For 100 years, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library (ACFL) in Carnegie has been operating under the direction of life trustees and members of the borough council.

During a special meeting called two weeks ago, the library board discussed petitioning Orphan's Court to eliminate the position of life trustee.

Although a vote was not taken, much discussion was had showing that while some many members were in favor of the change others were skeptical.

Al Falcioni, a member of the library Advisory Board, suggests the board set up terms in which people will run for if the life trustee position is eliminated.

He also suggests placing a limit on the number of terms a person could serve. After the limit was up, that person could become a "life member" retaining all the rights of a regular board member except the right to vote.

The state's philosophy on terms, according to Al Kemper, district coordinator for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, is to have three-year-terms in which there are no restrictions on the number of terms a person may hold.

This proposed change may help the Chartiers Valley Partnership in its quest to raise $5 million for the rehabilitation of the library and the adjoining music hall.

"Foundations frown on the term life trustees, it sounds like there is no turn over and no new ideas," said Allen Turske of the Chartiers Valley Partnership.

Elizabeth Martin, board president, said there may be an advantage to not having life trustees. Many people look at the position as "forever" and decide not to get involved, she said and added that the ACFL is one of the last library boards in the area to have life trustees.

Another suggestions was hiring a full-time library manger who will promote the building as well as find ways to utilize the building space.

This manger would "need to make it profitable, that's what a manager does," said Turske.

Martin said a by-laws committee will be appointed to make a proposal of what the board will propose to Orphan's Court. This vote should come up again at a future meeting of the library board.

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