Sample Legislation: James Prendergast Public Library District

STATE OF NEW YORK
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NOTE: HIGHLIGHTED SECTIONS WITHIN THIS BILL ARE NOT PART OF THE ORIGINAL LEGISLATION. THEY ARE PROVIDED TO HELP DESCRIBE THE PURPOSE OF EACH SECTION

8043--A

2005-2006 Regular Sessions

IN ASSEMBLY

May 3, 2005

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Introduced by M. of A. PARMENT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT in relation to creating the James Prendergast public library district in the county of Chautauqua

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Creation of library district. This section designates the official service area and official name of the district.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special, or local law to the contrary, there is hereby created and established in the county of Chautauqua, a public library district which shall include all of the Jamestown city school district in the towns of Ellicott, Kiantone, Carroll and Busti and the city of Jamestown and that portion of the town of Ellicott that is located in the Southwestern central school district, and shall be known as the James Prendergast public library district.

Section 2. Election. This section specifies the process for scheduling the local election to create and fund the district, the process for nominating candidates for the board and specifics of the election process.

1. The public library district herein described shall not come into existence unless and until it is approved, the initial proposed budget is approved, and nine trustees are elected by a vote of the majority of the qualified voters voting in an election held pursuant to the following provisions: Upon receipt of a petition signed by not less than fifty voters qualified to vote at a general election and residing within the area of the proposed district, the board of trustees of the existing James Prendergast library association shall give notice of an election to be conducted pursuant to this act. Such election shall be held within one year after this act shall have become a law. If a majority of the voters approve the formation of the district, then the district shall come into existence on the terms and conditions set forth in this act. At such election the issue shall be: (a) whether the public library district therein described shall be created or not; (b) whether the initial budget therefor proposed by the board of trustees of the James Prendergast library association shall be approved or disapproved; and (c) the election of nine trustees as provided by section three of this act. The trustees of the existing James Prendergast library association shall give notice of such election by the publication of a notice in one or more newspapers having a general circulation in the district to be served. The first publication of such notice shall be not less than thirteen days and not more than twenty days prior to the date of such election. In addition, the board of trustees of the existing James Prendergast library association shall cause copies of such notice to be posted conspicuously in three public places in the district at least thirteen days prior to the date of such election. Such notice shall specify the time when and the place where such election will be held, the issues to be decided at such election and the hours during which polls will be open for the receipt of ballots. The board of trustees of the existing James Prendergast library association shall prepare the ballots for such elections and the polls shall remain open for the receipt thereof at all elections from 12:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The board of trustees of the existing James Prendergast library association shall designate a resident qualified voter of such district to act as chairperson of any election of such district and shall designate not less than two nor more than four resident qualified voters to act as election inspectors and ballot clerks at such elections. No trustee or candidate for the office of trustee shall serve as chairperson or as an election inspector or ballot clerk. The board of trustees may adopt a resolution providing that such chairperson, election inspectors and ballot clerks shall be paid for their respective services at the initial election or at subsequent elections, should the new library district be created. Such resolution, if adopted, may fix reasonable compensation for services of such officials. Every voter otherwise qualified to vote at a general election and residing within the area of the proposed district shall be qualified to vote at said election. After the polls have closed at such election, the election inspectors and the ballot clerks shall immediately canvass publicly the ballots cast and the chairperson of the election shall publicly announce the result. Within seventy-two hours thereafter, the chairperson, election inspectors, and ballot clerks shall execute and file a certificate of the result of the canvass with the board of trustees and the clerks for the towns of Ellicott, Kiantone, Carroll and Busti and the city of Jamestown.

2. In the event that the district is created, there shall be an annual election conducted by the board of trustees of the James Prendergast public library district in accordance with the provisions of subdivision one of this section, at a time to be set by the public library district's board, at which election vacancies on the board of trustees shall be filled and at which any proposed budget which the board shall determine to submit to the voters pursuant to section four of this act shall be submitted to the voters.

3. Candidates for the office of member of the board of trustees of the James Prendergast public library district shall be nominated by petition. No vacancy on the board of trustees to be filled shall be considered a separate, specific office. A separate petition shall be required to nominate each candidate for a vacancy on the board. Each petition shall be directed to the secretary of the board of trustees, shall be signed by at least twenty-five qualified voters of the district, shall state the residence of each signer, and shall state the name and residence of the candidate. In the event that any such nominees shall withdraw candidacy prior to the election, such person shall not be considered a candidate unless a new petition nominating such person in the same manner and within the same time limitation applicable to other candidates is filed with the secretary of the board of trustees. Each petition shall be filed with the secretary of the board of trustees between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., not later than the thirtieth day preceding the election at which time the candidates nominated are to be elected. Petitions for candidates for the initial board of trustees of the James Prendergast public library district shall be filed with the secretary of the James Prendergast library association. In the event that the new district is created, petitions nominating candidates for the board of trustees after the initial election shall be filed with the secretary of the James Prendergast public library district.

4. At any election in such district, the voters may adopt a proposition providing that, in all subsequent elections, vacancies on the board of trustees shall be considered separate, specific offices and that the nominating petitions shall describe the specific vacancy upon the board of trustees for which the candidate is nominated, which description shall include at least the length of the term of the office and the name of the last incumbent, if any. No person shall be nominated for more than one specific office. Such procedure shall be followed with respect to all nominations and elections in subsequent years until and unless such proposition is repealed by the electors of the district at a regular election by adoption of a proposition to repeal the same.

Section 3. Organization and structure. This section sets terms for the board and process for establishing initial terms for trustees.

The James Prendergast public library district shall be managed, operated, and controlled by a board of trustees consisting of nine members. The trustees shall take office on the first day of the month following their election and shall, at the first regular meeting of the board, determine when terms of office of each member shall expire as follows: the three trustees receiving the first, second and third highest number of votes shall serve for four years, the three trustees receiving the fourth, fifth and sixth highest number of votes shall serve for three years, the two trustees receiving the seventh and eighth highest number of votes shall serve for two years, and the trustee receiving the ninth highest number of votes shall serve for one year. As vacancies occur, trustees shall be elected at the annual election provided for by this act to serve four year terms by the voters of the library district hereby created, such terms to commence on the first day of the month next following the election. Only qualified voters of the district who have been residents of the public library district for at least one year prior to the election shall be eligible for election to the board of trustees. The board of trustees at its first meeting each fiscal year shall elect or appoint a president and vice-president who shall be members of the board and a secretary, treasurer, and such other officers as they deem necessary. If the board so determines, the offices of secretary and treasurer may be held by individuals who are not members of the board of trustees and, in that event, such officer may, if the board so determines, receive compensation as fixed by resolution of the board.

S 4. Finances. This section covers the budget vote process, tax collections, bonding options & handling of finances. In most cases public library district taxes will be collected by municipalities. In this case, it is more efficient for those taxes to be collected by school districts.

1. The initial budget for the James Prendergast public library district shall be determined by a vote of the voters of the district in the initial election as hereinafter provided for. All future budgets that increase or decrease the James Prendergast public library proposed total operating expenditures over the total operating expenditures in the last preceding fiscal year's budget shall be submitted to the residents voting at the annual election of trustees pursuant to section two of this act. Funds voted for library purposes at the initial election and at all future budget elections shall be considered an annual appropriation therefor and shall be levied and collected yearly in the same manner and at the same time as other taxes in the Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district.

2. The board of trustees shall annually file with the financial officers of the Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district, the dollar amount to be raised by levy for the library district. The school districts shall not make any change in the dollar amount submitted to the Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district by the board of the library district.

3. The Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district shall levy a tax against the real property lying within their respective district and within the boundaries of the James Prendergast library district for the amount to be raised by tax as contained in the annual budget of the James Prendergast library district. The Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district may issue tax anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, and budget notes pursuant to article 2 of the local finance law to obtain the necessary moneys therefor.

4. The Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district shall have the power to authorize, sell, and issue bonds, notes, and other evidences of indebtedness pursuant to the local finance law in order to permit the library district to provide facilities or improved facilities for library purposes. Upon written request from the board of trustees of the James Prendergast public library district, after approval by the qualified voters of such public library district, the Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district shall authorize, sell, and issue such bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness as are necessary to accomplish the improvements specified in the notice. The proceeds of such bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness shall be paid to the treasurer of the James Prendergast public library district and maintained in a segregated account in accordance with section 165.00 of the local finance law and expended by the treasurer only on specific authorization by the board of trustees.

5. The board of trustees of the James Prendergast public library district may accept on behalf of the district any absolute gift, devise, or bequest of real or personal property and such conditional gifts, devises, or bequests as it shall by resolution approve.

6. The treasurer of the James Prendergast public library district shall be custodian of all funds of the library district, including gifts and trust funds paid over to the trustees. The board of trustees may authorize the investment of funds in the custody of the treasurer in the same manner in which school district funds may be invested. Proceeds of obligations received from the municipality may be invested in accordance with section 165.00 of the local finance law. The Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district shall promptly pay over to the James Prendergast public library district all moneys which belong to or are raised for the library district. No moneys shall be disbursed by the treasurer of the library district except after audit by the board of trustees. The board of trustees of the James Prendergast public library district shall audit all claims and shall order the payment thereof, except as otherwise provided by this section. No such claims shall be audited or ordered paid by the trustees unless an itemized voucher therefor shall be presented to the board of trustees for audit and allowance. The foregoing requirement that no moneys shall be disbursed by the treasurer of the district except after audit by the board of trustees shall not be applicable to payment of claims of fixed salaries and amounts which the library districts may be required to pay on account of retirement contributions for past or current services to officers and employees of the library district. The treasurer shall keep such records in such manner as the board of trustees may require.

Section 5. Charter, commencement of operations, and transfer of property and employees. This section covers transfer of assets, and ensures that staff can continue with same salary & benefits including State Retirement.

The initially elected trustees shall, within thirty days from the date of approval of the library district by the voters of the district, apply to the board of regents for a charter as a public library. Upon the granting of such a charter by the board of regents, then title to all liabilities and assets, including all property, real and personal, and all other tangible and intangible property, trust and other funds, and all other obligations, now held by the James Prendergast library association shall be transferred to, vested in, and be acquired by the James Prendergast public library district as established by this act. Upon the granting of such charter by the board of regents, all employees of the James Prendergast library association shall become employees of the library district upon the same terms and conditions of employment and at the same rate of pay as their previous employment by the James Prendergast library association; further, specifically and notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the James Prendergast library district shall become and remain liable to any employees of the James Prendergast library association who retired prior to December 31, 2003, with regards to continuing health insurance coverage to the same extent as was the James Prendergast library association prior to the creation of the library district.

Section 6. Ad valorem levy. This section authorizes tax collections for the district to be based on value of property within the district.

The several lots and parcels of land within the area of said public library district are hereby determined to be benefited by the library facilities and devices existing as of the effective date of this act, and the Jamestown city school district and the Southwestern central school district are hereby authorized to assess, levy, and collect the necessary expenses of operation, maintenance, and repair of such facilities and services and such capital improvements, including debt service on bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness of the school districts or municipalities issued for the purpose of the James Prendergast public library district, as may be hereafter authorized pursuant to the provisions of this act from such lots and parcels of land in the same manner and at the same time as other municipal or school district charges.

Section 7. Education law. This section specifies that the new district will operate under Education Laws of New York State.

Except as otherwise provided by this act, the provisions of the education law relating to public libraries shall be applicable to the James Prendergast public library district established by this act.

Section 8. This act shall take effect immediately.


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Last Updated: July 21, 2009 -- asm [created January 27, 2005]; for questions or comments, contact us