By Josh Resnek
After receiving a $400,000 windfall from a former Everett resident who bequeathed the money to the Parlin Library, the question remains, who will spend it and how will it be doled out?
The mayor taking credit for the donation is fake news, as the donation was known to be coming by most of the former library officials and its trustees for more than a year – long before the mayor removed the chief librarian and made appointments of family members and a Wellness Center employee accused of sexual harassment to the Board of Trustees in order to snuff out the library’s independence and to bring it under mayoral rule.
The library is not run by a certified librarian.
It is run by Assistant City Solicitor Matt Lattanzi. “I’ve never been inside a library,” the mayor has been famously quoted as saying.
He has about as much interest in the public library system here as he does in women’s rights, claim those who know him well.
Under the mayor’s rule, Trustees now receive a stipend.
Trustees refused to do so in the past.
Two Trustees are the mayor’s family or related to his family.
Another Trustee, an employee of the city at the Wellness Center, has recently resigned.
Questions have arisen about the legality of the mayor appointing family members and city employees to serve as Trustees, that it might tend to create a conflict of interest.
In addition, it is believed to be illegal to allow a city employee to also serve as a library Trustee and to receive both their salary and a stipend from the library.
A recent investigation into whether or not Attorney Lattanzi was receiving salary for his position running the library seemed to indicate that his total compensation package with the city is at $81,000 as assistant city solicitor and this included being the “clerk” of the library. Library personnel who wish to remain unnamed insist Lattanzi does not “work” at the library and rarely appears there.
They further claim that he is receiving a “salary” worth the salary of two library directors but is never there.
“Why is there no library director?” they all wonder. Other questions have been raised by a variety of people involved with the library.
“Who attends trustee meetings and who does not?” they wonder.
“If you receive a stipend for being a trustee, the least you can do is to attend the meetings,” said one of them.
Recent library reports indicate the present administration is doing nothing to excite interest in the library system by adding a full slate of programs or continuing others to induce residents to come to the library.