We welcome the Comptroller’s recommendations. We began implementation of their recommendations before the audit was even completed because we understand the importance of the public’s faith in the Pember Library and Museum board and staff.
We are heartened by the Comptroller’s assessment that there has not been any financial mismanagement of our capital campaign funds and have taken the proper steps to protect all of our funds, including those that have come from the Pember Library and Museum Foundation.
Our board, like many boards before us, was forced to use some of the principal of the Foundation because our various funding streams, including the support we get from the Village and the Town, are not enough to keep our doors open for the thousands of people who cross our threshold each year. We unknowingly violated the original agreement between the Pember and the Foundation and for that we are deeply sorry. We can only ask for the public’s forgiveness as we begin the process of correcting this mistake We have already reimbursed the Foundation $10,000 and intend to continue to pay back the principal until it is fully restored.
Our financial situation is fluid because we do not have a reliable funding stream. The Pember is a valued community institution but it is just one of many competing financial priorities within the Village and Town. We appreciate the opportunity the Comptroller’s report has afforded us to talk to the public about our financial situation and to begin the process to create financial stability for the Pember Library and Museum.
This May, we will be asking the voters of the Granville Central School District to create a library district with stable funding. We are committed to educating the voters on what this means through a series of public presentations, mailings, a dedicated website and one-to-one meetings.
The voters will vote on the initial funding for the district and subsequent budgets as well as for the Pember’s Board of Trustees. Our goals here are three-fold: to stabilize our funding, to provide greater accountability and to give the community a greater sense of ownership over the direction and growth of the Pember.