Tipp BOE, Library Trustees discuss policy

TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education moved forward with a policy regarding their role in the library board trustee selection process by introducing it at the Tipp City Library Board’s meeting Thursday.

The policy is a second proposed draft and highlights that the policy’s sole purpose is to ensure compliance with the law and delineate a process to ensure that the Tipp City Library Board of Trustees’ appointments are timely and legally made by the Board of Education, as required by Ohio Revised Code Section 3375.15.

According to Board of Education President Theresa Dunaway, the board took some inspiration from Shaker Heights’ library board trustee selection policy when drafting their own.

“Shaker Heights is a very affluent community and it was bigger than us, and we duly noted all of those things, but it was one that seemed like it was workable for both of us, so that’s kind of what we used as our cookie-cutter,” Dunaway said. “We made changes, and that’s how we got this document.”

The Board of Education members present at the Library Board of Trustees’ meeting were president Dunaway, vice president Anne Zakkour, board member Simon Patry, and superintendent Mark Stefanik. The Board of Education and the Library Board of Trustees engaged in over an hour of discussion regarding the policy, with the trustees clarifying aspects of the selection process on their end as well as suggesting changes to the policy, specifically in regard to the number of applicants that would be interviewed when a trustee position becomes available.

“We do not select candidates for interviews. We always interview every application,” trustee Elaine Stefkovich said. “In addition, we have had a history where an applicant has a great resume and intent, but they do not interview well, and we’ve had the exact opposite of, not a very good package, but they were a great interviewee.”

Trustee Bill Wendel voiced his reluctance to put in writing that the library board would interview every candidate who submits an application for an open trustee position, citing that there could be an instance where they receive 75 applicants.

“I think we should always have the intent to interview all of them. I think it’s a good idea to always interview all of them, but I don’t want a (…) statement that says we shall interview all of them,” Wendel said.

Patry clarified that the point in the policy stating the board of trustees would select a group of candidates to interview was there to let both sides know that the board of trustees is in charge of selecting who they interview. The policy was changed to state that trustees would select candidates to interview.

Also discussed was the board of education’s role in meetings regarding trustee selection. Patry noted that up to two board members could be selected for a committee that would meet with the library board, and if those members participate, they would have to do so in every meeting and interview, but if they do participate, it would be in an advisory capacity. It was originally envisioned that the board would have the ability to participate in the interview and ask questions; this was changed to the board acting in an advisory capacity, with respect to the process defined by the library board of trustees.

A finalized version of the policy is planned to be introduced and voted on at the next board of education meeting, to be held Monday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m.