Commissioner sets deadline for library study

Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos set an informal deadline of Dec. 15 for the completion of a study to determine the cause of employee turnover at the Moffat County Library.

The deadline came after the Moffat County Library Board of Trustees shelved a decision on hiring a contractor to conduct the study Saturday.

But library board members said they plan to complete the study.

Progress was delayed at the last meeting, because the attorney had not yet reviewed the questions the library board would like a contractor to ask former employees and board members, said board president Dave Longwell.

But at Tuesday's commissioners meeting, Raftopoulos said if the board didn't get the study done soon, the commissioners would pay for it out of their contingency fund, then take the expenses out of the 2005 library budget.

"I think it's important to get it done. If they're not going to get it done, then we're going to get it done," she said.

The study has been a controversial topic with the commissioners and library board since an August meeting between the boards, called in response to commissioners' concerns about library employee turnover. Forty library employees have quit in the past six years.

The library board meets once a month. Longwell wouldn't commit to selecting a contractor by the next meeting in November, but he said the board probably could develop a short list at that meeting.

It's his intention to keep the study in front of the board and continue work on it, he said.

The study is important for improving the board's relationship with the commissioners, Longwell said.

The board hopes to spend no more than $6,000 on the study.

Library board member John Ponikvar said he thought the study still could be handled at the library board level. He said the turnover problem predates the library director, Donna Watkins, and he hopes the study brings out the cause of the problem.

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