Minutes for June 8, 2015

Present: Cindy Binzen, Rachel Kurland, Miriam Newman, Carol Wilson, Cindy Stableford (for the Friends), Curt Albee, Marty Frank, Rebecca Seibel, Besty Ruml (for the Library Investment Committee).

Library Investment Committee: By way of explaining proposed changes to the committee’s rules of operation, Betsy said that investment decisions had for many years been made with the guidance of the Plunketts, particularly Kevin. In anticipation of Kevin’s inevitable retirement from that role, the committee believes it would be prudent to create an investment structure that requires less active management. That would involve moving assets from actively managed funds to index funds, which generally perform as well. The committee has chosen index funds that mirror the portfolio’s current mix. Future management will simply require the committee to adjust asset allocation rather than choosing the funds themselves. In the interest of simplification, the committee also wishes to change its approach to disbursements from:

“It is the policy of the Trustees to limit disbursements from the Pooled Endowment to a maximum of 30 percent of the average annual appreciation of the total portfolio valuation of those funds based on the preceding five years, minus any gifts and transfers from the Operating Fund and minus an inflation adjustment.

“The Trustees have agreed that disbursements will be minimized until the total assets in the Endowment reach $250,000.”


“It is the policy of the Trustees to make disbursements from the Pooled Endowment only when the most recent calendar year-end valuation of the Pooled Endowment is $250,000 or greater. Such disbursements will be calculated based on 3% of the five-year rolling average calendar year-end valuations of the Pooled Endowment.”

The proposed change was moved, seconded and approved unanimously.

Betsy also reported that the bequest that has been in the care of the Selectboard had been transferred to the investment committee. Under the terms of the bequest, the money, which now amounts to a little more than $1,000 can be invested anywhere, but only the income is available to the library.

The board unanimously approved the committee’s proposed investment of that money in the Vanguard Wellington Fund, where it will be combined with other such bequests.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the May meeting were approved.

Librarian’s Report: Regarding programs, Rebecca noted that the after-school program has concluded for the year, and the summer schedule is all set. It will include a theater-group program, three pajama-time storytimes, a program by Brooke Wilkinson and a cartooning workshop.

The library now has passes to the Fairbanks Museum. Rebecca will be attending a workshop on operating one-person libraries. A scanner is about to be ordered.

A short discussion about the cost and limitations of water-testing produced consensus that, at least for now, the library will live with the cloudy water coming from the well, largely because that discoloration is the result of air in the system.

Friends Report: A plan is in place for the creation of a Little Library, Curt has the materials but is looking forward to finding the time to do the work. A tent will be available for the July book sale, and the same woman who trucked away the unsold books has said she would like to do the same this year.

The Friends just completed a membership drive in which they received 41 responses to 470 letters sent out, producing more than $2,000 in revenue.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel distributed the monthly financial statement and said that we appear to be on track.

Other Business: Rebecca said that she had talked with a state official working in historic preservation who is doing an inventory of the Morrill Estate. She consulted the Louise Swan will, which is unclear about whether a number of items should be given to the town or the library. In the case of a Native American bow and quiver, that question will determine whether the items will be returned to the tribe from which they came, as federal law requires. For a number of other items, it’s unclear what impact a final disposition would have. Miriam agreed to review the will to see what light she could shed on the matter.

The annual spring cleaning will continue to take place in May.

The trustees unanimously approved the revision to the bylaws discussed at previous meetings and will post the changes before the board moves to final approval at its next meeting.

The next meeting will be Aug. 18.

Submitted by Marty F.