Letter: Questions to the Vernon Library Trustees

Posted
Editor of the Reformer:



An article in the Reformer dated April 27 incorrectly reported that Vernon Library Director Kris Berberian had resigned and left her position on April 24. A correct report on the subject would have said "Vernon Library Trustees abruptly dismiss Vernon Library Director Kris Berberian on April 24 without notice or explanation." At the time of her dismissal, Kris was leading the transition of the library along with other library employees and volunteers. She was working to accommodate a severe cut to the library budget for the next fiscal year. Kris had volunteered to leave her position on June 30, to be in keeping with the much lower library budget to begin on July 1.

The Library Trustees decision to abruptly remove Kris from her position more than two months early has many of us in Vernon asking questions. Taxpayers elect Library Trustees to oversee and serve the best interest of the library and town overall. As taxpayers/residents we are asking the Library Trustees to answer the following questions.

Are all Vernon Library Trustees familiar with the Vermont Open Meeting Law? Do all Vernon Library Trustees, especially the chairperson seek to follow the Vermont Open Meeting Law? In keeping with the Vermont Open Meeting Law, since Kris was dismissed on April 24, what was the date of the warned Library Trustee Meeting where the early dismissal of Vernon Library Director Kris Berberian was discussed? Was there taxpayer/public participation allowed at that meeting? Did the Warning for the meeting list the subject of dismissing the Vernon Library Director on the agenda? Are there Library Trustee Meeting Minutes available to the public showing the Library Trustees vote on the early removal of Director Berberian from her position? Why was Director Berberian dismissed from her position and asked to leave more than two months early rather than allowing her to leave on June 30 as planned and fulfill the transition she was leading until then? Was Kris dismissed from her position with paid leave? How is paying Kris to be on leave a responsible use of taxpayer monies? Why did Library Trustees choose to end Kris's employment by unexpectedly appearing at the Vernon Library on April 24, dismissing Kris from her position and telling her to immediately pack up her things and leave? How did this show respect or consideration for Kris as a 10 year dedicated town employee? Did Library Trustees discuss their decision with other library staff and consider them? Did Library Trustees consider the consequences of their decision to the library patrons and the overall day to day functioning of the libraries services and programs? How did the Library Trustees serve the best interest of the taxpayers or the town with their action?

We are sending copies of this letter and questions to each Vernon Library Trustee. We hope to hear answers at the next Vernon Library Trustee Meeting on May 17.

We would like to thank Kris Berberian for her years of hard work and dedication to our town library. Many of us will miss her.

Rita Mudd, Joyce Goodnow and Barbara Moseley,

Vernon, May 12


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