Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

Allegheny County             P.O. Box 1041

Library Association:          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

Formula Committee          Telephone: 412-561-7876

  Recommendation           Electronic Mail: < >

                                                Internet Site: <  >

                                                2009 June 23


Good evening. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.


The committee set-up to recommend a new library funding formula has also recommended that a

by-law amendment be approved requiring a supermajority of two-thirds of member libraries for approval of a new formula. I strongly support this by-law amendment.


Without the passage of this by-law amendment, a simple majority would be all that would be required for approval of a new formula recommendation to the RAD Board. Yet, what would happen if a proposed formula is approved with just a bare majority? Will some libraries complain to the RAD Board? Will there be legal action if the RAD Board approves a formula which nearly half of the membership opposes?


Will the RAD Board members look at an ACLA proposed formula, approved by a bare majority of members, and think, “We spent all this time and money, and the result is the same—half approve the proposed formula and half do not” ? Will the RAD Board then allow ACLA to have any more input into a new formula, or will RAD simply mandate a formula of their own choosing?


Now, some fear requiring a supermajority vote for the formula may not result in a finalized ACLA recommendation. Well, this may happen on the first ballot. Then, there needs to be a second ballot and a third ballot, etc., until a new formula reaches a supermajority. And,  yes, this may require continuing negotiations among members until the supermajority is reached.


At the present time, such additional ballots after additional negotiations, require 30-day notices before a new vote can occur. I suggest that you propose a new by-law amendment, which can be approved next month, which allows additional ballots the same evening, should the first ballot not reach a supermajority. Yes, I am suggesting that this vote be treated as it would be at a national political party convention.


True, the proposed formula may not be ready by mid-July. However, RAD does not approve a preliminary budget until October. RAD Board members may not like it, but to avoid receiving more library complaints and possible legal action, RAD may be willing to wait a little longer to receive the final ACLA proposed formula.


Think about it. Thank you.