Oneida Library’s annual vote set for Tuesday, March 6

Pat Albaugh

Gary Taylor

Lillian White

Oneida Library’s annual vote set for March 6

On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, registered voters residing in the Oneida Public Library’s Special Legislature Library District will get a chance to vote for candidates running for the three seats on the OPL Board of Trustees that will open up July 1 and to vote on the board’s proposed operating budget for the library’s upcoming fiscal year, July 1, 2018 –June 30, 2019.

The three announced candidates for the three open trustee positions are Patricia K. Albaugh, Gary N. Taylor and Lillian G. White, while the 2018-19 budget being proposed by the OPL Board for the 220 Broad St. facility is $421,481, a 4.35 percent increase over the current fiscal-year budget.

This year’s library vote is officially scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m. in the library’s Meeting Room, 220 Broad St. Eligible voters must reside in the OPL Special District, which is co-extensive with the Oneida City School District. The district comprises: the City of Oneida, the Village of Wampsville and portions of the towns of Lenox and Lincoln in Madison County; and, in Oneida County, the Village of Oneida Castle, the hamlet of Durhamville and portions of Sylvan Beach and of the towns of Vernon, Verona and Vienna.

Broken down by revenue sources, the proposed 2018-19 budget has a Special Library District tax levy of $373,481, an increase of 4.94 percent over the preceding year’s levy. Other anticipated funding is public funding of $15,000; private funding of $21,000; and library revenue of $12,000 generated by fines and ancillary fees.

“The single largest increase in our proposed 2018-19 operating budget is for staff wages,” said G. Richard Kinsella, OPL Board president. “These are the people who enable the OPL to serve the public for 58 hours each week. The OPL has two full-time staff and 13 part-time skilled staff members, nine of whom earn the state’s mandated minimum wage. The minimum-wage increases this year and next account for more than a $6,000 increase in the proposed budget.

“We have also budgeted,” he said, “a small increase for utilities in the expectation that we will be maintaining both the old and new library facilities during part of the next fiscal year.”

Board candidate Patricia Albaugh, who is seeking her fourth five-year term as an OPL trustee, is eager to see the new library facility built under her watch.

“An excellent library is one of the most important aspects of any community, and the OPL is a shining example,” Albaugh said.

Albaugh has been a resident of Oneida since 1973. She taught sixth grade at Oneida Castle Elementary School for 34 years, retiring in 2007, and is active with the Oneida Retired Educators Association. She currently serves as the president of the Oneida Area Civic Chorale and is a charter member of the Oneida YMCA. The OPL has been an important part of her life in Oneida, as well as the lives of her three children and the many students she taught in school. Albaugh lives in Oneida with her husband, George Miller.

Gary Taylor, who is seeking his first five-year term on the OPL Board, moved to Oneida with his wife Sharon from Western New York to become the franchise owners of a new Tim Hortons coffee and bake shop on Route 5. Since the restaurant’s closing, the Taylors have been purchasing and redeveloping property in Oneida.

While living in the Buffalo area, Taylor worked as a technology teacher for the West Seneca School District, an instrument supervisor for New York State Gas and Electric Corporation and a fuel technician for Bethlehem Steel. In his free time, he built five new houses and remodeled three others, served as an exalted ruler of the Lancaster Elks Lodge 1478 and was treasurer of his local church. The Taylors have two grown children Matthew and Kaitlyn.

“I believe the Oneida Library Board and community members would benefit from my expertise,” Taylor said. “I look forward to working with them.”

Lillian White, the third candidate, is seeking re-election to a second five-year term on the board.

“I decided to run again as a board member for the Oneida Public Library because the library is essential for the community’s spirit,” White said. “The Library serves as a safe place for our children and young adults to read, be educated, get tutored, and attend clubs. It offers adults literacy programs, community events and opportunities to expand their horizons and obtain new skills.

“The new library will serve as a pillar of pride for our community,” she added. “In the meantime, I hope to continue to serve on the OPL board and provide all the support needed.”

White moved from New York City to Oneida with her husband Jeffrey and their son Philip in the summer of 2009 in order to pursue a job opportunity and to be close to family.

White, who was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island, started her career in an accounting department at a Time Warner subsidiary after attending Briarcliff College. A few years later, she began working at JP Morgan Chase & Co., N.Y.C., eventually working her way up to the level of an executive director. After 26 years with JP Morgan Chase, in August 2012, she retired to care for her family. Since that time, she has served as an OPL Board member, joined the Oneida Rotary Club and become a volunteer on the Oneida City School Facilities Study.

The OPL Board is currently composed of G. Richard Kinsella, president; Lillian White, vice-president; Bradford Adams, treasurer; Patricia Albaugh, secretary; Heather de la Riva; Robert Wilkins; and Katherine Wojciechowski. Board members serve five-year terms without any compensation.

The OPL Board invites interested members of the public to meet the board candidates and attend its open hearing on the budget in the library’s Meeting Room on Tuesday, February 27, at 7:00 p.m.

To vote in the March 6 library election, library district residents living in Madison County must be currently registered with the Madison County Board of Elections while library district residents living in Oneida County must be registered with the Oneida County Board of Elections.

Absentee ballot applications are available from the OPL for registered voters residing in the OPL Special Library District who will be away from the district on the day of the library vote or are temporarily or permanently ill or disabled. Application forms and instructions for casting an absentee ballot are available at the OPL Circulation Desk, 220 Broad St., Oneida, or online at the OPL web site (www.midyorklib.org/oneida) for printing out. Applicants who are duly registered to vote in the library district will be mailed absentee ballots at the designated address on the application.

For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call (315) 363-3050.

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