Assembly Passes Library Reform

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

A bill to reform the Queens Library is one step closer to becoming law.

Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona)’s bill to introduce more oversight to the Queens Library was met with unanimous approval in the State Assembly on June 10. The legislation now moves to the State Senate, where it is sponsored by State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria).

The legislation was created in response to the recent controversies that have affected the Queens Library. The library’s CEO, Thomas Galante, has come under fire for his excessive salary, second job and use of library funding to build his office a private smoking deck.

The bill will reform the appointment and removal process of the Board of Trustees, so a trustee can be removed by the official who appointed him or her. A trustee’s term length would be reduced from five years to three years and would require that a he or she either lives in or owns a business in Queens.

The legislation would also create an independent labor committee and audit committee to oversee the Library’s accounting, financial reporting and contracting process. There would also be limits on outside employment.

The Library would have to hold annual budget hearings and maintain a 30-day public comment period before it can adopt its annual budget as well.

Gianaris’s office said the Senator is optimistic that the bill’s passage in the Assembly will help him push for its passage in the Senate before this year’s session concludes on June 19.

“I urge my fellow Senators to pass this bill as quickly as possible so we can rein in the excesses revealed in recent reports and provide a long-term blueprint for efficiency, transparency and accountability,” Gianaris said.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @JoeMarvilli.