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Library Board Meeting - March 9, 2023

ZEBULON - The Library Board met in their meeting room with County Manager Brandon Rogers as a guest at the table. Anthony Vinson-Chair, Curtis Ward-Treasurer, Rosemary Bunn-Librarian, Natalie Marshall-Flint River Regional Library (FRRLS) Representative, and Library Board Members Cathy Partain, Patsy Page, Joy Walker, Angela Blount, Grant Rowe, Brandon Rogers, Janna Brannon. Pike County Times was the only audience member in the room.

Motion to approve the agenda. Approved.

Vinson is taking the minutes.

CM Brandon Rogers said that he was talking about budget reports with Anthony. He said that this goes back to last year. Why do we do the library differently than the rest of the county? It wasn’t changed last year. Rogers brought this back up this year and is asking for their thoughts on this.

Chairman Anthony Vinson said that Rogers' proposal is in violation of the MOU between the BOC, Library Board, and FRRLS. County is responsible for employees, building, maintenance, etc. and the Library Board is responsible for the rest. Argued against the county taking over the Library Board’s finances. Asked if there was any hint of impropriety? Was told no. We are different and have a different bank account. Audited every year.

Not a requirement from Flint River that this is the case. Rogers has talked to the commissioners about this, but he has not petitioned the commissioners about changing this.

Said that a separate audit has to happen because the library is different. The Library Manager and Treasurer have to do this when there is paid staff that could do this for the county.

Treasurer Curtis Ward. From my perspective, it is working well.

Rogers said that there is nothing wrong with it. No one has made any accusations of improprieties. Said this is just a question.

Ward. Pretend that everything goes over the counter. What happens to our current bank account? That is our biggest concern. If we changed, we would have to petition the commissioners and then wait.

Rogers said that is not the case. Ward said that we have a reserve now. Rogers said that no other department in the county is like this (with a bank account that is not controlled by the county.)

Ward. We do operate more as an authority because we are a board of Trustees to watch over this. We ARE different than other departments because of the way we are set up.

More discussion. Vinson. We have money in our reserve and are spending it down over time but doing it judiciously.

Grant Rowe. I’m not interested in being like others. If we can’t be good stewards of this money, we are not doing our jobs.

Natalie Marshall from the Flint River Regional Library System (FRRLS). There are 9 libraries and 9 different ways of doing things. The library is not doing anything out of the ordinary. Making sure that we are fiscally responsible.

Vinson. Rosemary is going to ask for extra money to spend on the Summer Reading Program. What happens if we want to spend some of that money on Summer Reading, and someone disagrees with it. The money in our reserve. Rogers said that is your money. Once it enters your account, it is yours. We are looking at the future rather than right now.

Marshall. What is the reconciliation process for line items? Some reconcile on a constant basis. What about more in this one and less in this one? Instanteous ask and answer, some monthly… What is the procedure?

Rogers. It’s done by the department. Rosemary would bring a piece of paper to move money from place to place if the money is there. It would be instantaneous.

Patsy Page. This is working well, why change it?

Rogers said that this isn’t an urgent matter, but it’s something that he sees every year. Then the cost of the library audit was discussed.

Library Manager Rosemary Bunn. We pay $2,000.

Rogers noted that all of the authorities, library, Sheriff’s Office and the BOC need separate audits. There wouldn’t be a separate audit if the library was under the county.

[Note from the Editor: It sounds like the Library Board is good where they are, but only time will tell whether Rogers is going to leave this alone or not. When people make an accusation that the county is trying to take over the library, a push to get away from the FRRLS to save that almost $12,000 (which wouldn't be a savings at all since this is how we get state and federal money to pay for computers, tech help for technology, and are able to check out books, etc. from all over the state) as well as trying to make the J. Joel Edwards Library operate like everyone else in the county is what people are talking about. The library IS different and HAS BEEN different for years with two bank accounts that are separate from the county. Much of those library donations have been spent on books, etc. over the past several years, but the Friends of the Library is a separate entity with a separate bank account set up specifically to help the library with its needs like books, summer reading, etc. to make up for funding that the library is not getting from the county.]


Nothing out of the ordinary on there. Quarterly profit and loss as well as year to date. Checking and saving accounts reconcilations for the past 2 months are also included. No issues. The Library Manager handles day to day. Treasurer Ward handles the rest.

Savings account has over the year donations—some substantial. So none of the savings was county money. Friends of the Library is something separate too.


Natalie Marshall is the FRRLS Representative who attends this meeting each month.

Crossover Day has passed. $3 million in repair/matching (apply 18 to 20 months in advance 50% match up to $250,000), and $2 million in technology enhancements are included in the budget by the Governor (computers and technology for public computers). House budget gave a slight increase in money for books to individual libraries. Contact legislators about the importance of library money.

Updating the public computers from last year’s order. There are 3 that are going to be phased out and replaced.

Gear Grant Funding. Chrome books and launch pads from Governor’s funding. Launch pad is like a tablet by theme and grade level with educational games. They are not completely industructible, but pretty close. Reading, math, social studies, science, history, etc. 2 week checkout. Cannot be used to search the web.


2 new employees. One from Colorado in the public library system. Alla Drake was drawn in for the STEAM Room.

Audit has started.

We do have the Library Dance coming up. We have moved to the Moose Lodge rather than Kiwanis because of a change of Kiwanis regulations. 17 piece big band. People come from all over to attend the dance. Friends of the Library put a lot of work into this and helping the library with programs, etc. Saturday, March 25 from 7 to 10 p.m. Used to be Taste of Two Counties with donated food. Tickets are $20 because there will be no free food. Moose Club may have food.

Summer Reading. July 22. Working on programs. Library Dragons series author. Carmen Deedy. Next year, she is coming to our library. Still looking at a couple of spots to fill. Summer reading extends over 2 years. She booked some really cool acts for the summer. $2,000 is what is needed. She asked the Board to dip into reserve funds for this. This includes a performer for the teens: Magician-Arthur Atsma. Dave Holland. Big kickoff on Saturday, June 3. Polynesian dancers. Darren Hicks, author- Shakespeare Secret Stories. The author of the Llama who rocks in her Polka Dot Socks. Fire Department is coming in. Ron England, juggler. Farm Bureau. Camelot Theater. Grand Finale will be back this year. Ken Scott, magician from Atlanta.

Would like an extra $1,000 to cover more for summer reading. Motion to authorize Library Manager to spend up to $1,000 out of reserve to pay for programming for Summer Reading. Discussion: There will be incentives for reading as well as the performances. Approved unanimously.

Also looking at the Mercer University Women’s Basketball Coach. Author Susan Suranda too.

Budget. Some things will come out of our checkbook. Same operating budget for the past 4 years. This has an increase of $4,000 more than I’ve been asking, but trying to be fiscally responsible and work with the county on this. Payroll is paid directly by the county. The FRRLS membership is about $12,000. The county is billed for this directly.

Question about advertising from new member Angela Blount. Is it paid out of library department? Yes. It is included. We get $35,330 from the county in a lump sum. Each department is responsible for each advertising that goes in the paper for board and job openings. $150 was moved to appropriate line item to cover this expense.

CM Rogers said that this a prime example of how things are different now. Things are still being transitioned. $35,480 is what the library is asking for next year.



Vinson. We have a 5 and 10 year plan. Asked everyone to review this before the next meeting so we can project out 20 years like the rest of departments in the county. This will be in the June meeting.


2nd year in a row that the board has a problem with secretarial duties. Nominations: Janna Brannon. Secretary. Motion to approve. Unanimously accepted.


Grant Rowe. What needs to change to help with blanks in the line items for the county? Brandon Rogers said that Rosemary Bunn sends a report each month already so include monthly financials. Asked the Board to share the strategic plan with commissioners. Angela Blount said that the report is really good for the library. She asked for a check register and financials for commissioners to see. This will be included in the future.

Natalie Marshall asked to separate impact fees, county fees, etc. in planning for the future.

Georgia Library State Standards might be able to help with this. This will be our guideline/compass for the future.

Rogers said that Impact Fees are what drives the 20 years because it’s on a 20 year projection. Big ticket items can be based on population. It will fluctuate some, but this will help with planning in a consistent manner. State of Georgia has state standards to make suggestions for how much square footage per population, how many books will be needed, etc. County population is what we base this on. A planning tool/guideline.

Discussing whether moving to the county is what they want to do.

Vinson said that he doesn’t see any benefits in making this change but encouraged the Board to examine this and keep an ear out on this if needed.

Discussion about the audit. Vinson said that he is concerned about the relationship staying strong with Flint River because of the tremendous benefits from that relationship for the people of the users of this public library. Vinson has a concern that this is a step toward severing the relationship with the Flint River Regional Library and said that he based that on conversations that he has had with Rogers.

Thanked everyone for being here. Motion to adjourn. Approved. 6:11 p.m.

Next meeting is June 8, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.