The John Trigg Ester Library

JTEL Board of Directors Meeting, Saturday, April 16.2011

JTEL Business Office, the Annex, studio #8, 11 am

Special Meeting to review effect of applying for and receiving consideration of CRS


Roll Call

Brief of status of Community Revenue Sharing application (Deirdre)

Brief of PR situation (Monique)


1. essential value of library to us as a board vis-a-vis other community organizations

2. appropriate action or policy with regard to library's interactions with other community organizations and/or detractors

3. coordination of fundraising applications (CRS, etc.) with other nonprofit community organizations

4. Proposals/Decisions on our approach to ECA/CRS:

• send thank you to mayor

• reject consideration

• Accept the consideration, but not accept money until after the library is further along in function and fundraising

• refuse any money to be awarded

• hand any awarded money next year to EVFD and/or ECA

• Accept partial funding for a specific purpose (ie. power) and have the remaining allocation go to the other organizations

• Accept all of the money and explain the uses for it to the community; the purposes in our application for consideration are valid and worthwhile.

• Accept the money but revise the proposed projects, and use for broader community projects with immediate/quicker benefit

• Propose more formal mutual planning by area nonprofits for future

• wait to see if issue comes up at all during ECA meeting, then discuss if so (let ECA take lead on discussion, proposals)

• other

Next regular meeting: Sunday, April 17, 2011


Attending: Ken Bluhm, Nancy Burnham, Roy Earnest, Eric Glos, Deirdre Helfferich, Monique Musick

Call to order 11:10

Community Revenue Share Funds

Deirdre called the borough, spoke with Carol Kincaid. All organizations listed are accepted- we are eligible to receive FY12 funds. Asked some process questions:

  • What happens if we can’t do the projects etc.? Notify them as soon as possible
  • Do we have to re-apply every year? New program- in its third year, Automatically reapply
  • Two phase process: Apply first- done
  • Borough applies to the state for funds. The amount available could change year to year. The amount in the state pot could vary depending on prior year’s draws and legislative investments

There is a $2 billion surplus right now- not sure where that money will go- final decisions aren’t made. Distribution is based on population. Our populations has increased as of the last census. What is the population based on? Is it fire service? “Unorganized municipality”.Ester dome is a separate community. Probably based on the census district ~2200. Now it is ~2400. It would be valuable to know what population is based on and where the district lines are drawn

The PR situation

As described in e-mails Monique received angry communications from Mark Simpson. Alerted to some real hostile attitudes regarding the library, Immediately put on the defensive

This will be brought up at the ECA meeting

At the time of the initial application for Ester the ECA and EVFD went in together. The money that was 50/50 is now split in 3. It was never brought up formally to these organizations

It feels like we are working against the community not with it

Nancy T. helped with the application. We are working with the ECA It came up at meetings- asked questions. Deirdre said that we were interested. Mark had the opportunity to make formal objections but didn’t. If this was such a great concern, why wasn’t it brought to the boards? He is a member of the board on the ECA- had the authority to bring it up.

Mark was the person who signed up the ECA and the EVFD originally, Has a sense of ownership. The park has taken a back seat to the hall and other projects. He has been waiting for the park to get the money. Wants to make sure that the park is getting the money.

We do not get money this year

An influential member of two key organizations is very upset. It is not really our PR problem, it is his. Both these organizations need to cope with this as well. Do these organizations want to be represented by an angry individual?

Deirdre spoke with Margaret and Nancy, they had no problem. Ritchie felt we are deserving of funds


1. Value of the library: What essential role does a library serve in the community?

The main focus of Deirdre has been the library, but respects the other organizations. View the community in a very broad sense. Want to see more cooperating as a community, Include Calypso, Coordinated vision

The president of the ECA helped us fill out our forms. The 2011 money has gone out but has not been spent; It is a reimbursement account.

The fire department has other resources that we don’t

We don’t want to take money away or fight over it

The money gets distributed in the fall. The park has its money, and others coming to it

There are no reservations about receiving the money in 2012. If we turn it down it looks bad. It would set a bad precedent- make it where we can get bullied by someone. A last minute blind-sided attack is unwarranted. It looks bad to be fighting over it. We don’t want this angst.

The state is pretty rich right now

This is all for the benefit of the community.

Fire and health organizations have restrictions on these funds, we do not

Over the past two years the other organizations have received $20,200 each

We could very well be working with Calypso in the future. They could be involved in the park as well. There are many ways all our organizations could benefit for improved coordination rather than competition. We would all be stronger if we work together. We would have a much more powerful lobbying voice

Roy: Present this very positively. It has really got us thinking about how we can create better cooperation in the community, bring Calypso into this. Mark has brought about a great revolution. Brought out some great ideas. Glad the money is there for the park in 2011

There are two groups within the community- the at large and “the Eagle”. Try not to get pulled into it, Avoid getting pulled into these fringe conversations. Offer the proper time at a meeting. Can’t speak for the board in these discussions. Bring them to the group. Keep these discussions out of your private life. Keep it to the board. Never speak on behalf of the board.

Ulises wants to get others involved- spoke with Phil Rulon about this. Phil’s concern is over the polarization that is happening over this. There is a long history of competition [Simpson] has expressed issues ever since we got the land. It is somewhat of a threat

How do we turn this around - work together better

Offer grant opportunities to the ECA- things we find in exploring grants

The ECA is not 501(c)(3). It is up to them whether or not they want to grow. It has been a beneficial experience forming an official nonprofit. The process has been informative- how to run an organization, how to be a board.

The library needs to set a tone within the community. We need to be positive.

The best symbol of Ester is the Fourth of July

This is part of the growth; We want to help move this in the positive direction. We feel confident in what we are doing and where we are going. The fire department and Calypso have shown us the way. We are setting the tone for the growth of the community.

The ECA is the old guard- longtime community residents. The population is changing- there is growth away from the village proper. There is an ownership that feels threatened. Loss of control over what is thought to be Ester.

How do we convey that we are not taking away we are trying to add.

Look at the kids at the library downtown- we want that for our community. The library is an important hangout. A free, safe, warm location.

Ester proper and Ester improper. Give more strength to the community.

There is a long history with the ECA.

There is a fear of change. It is like the News-Miner comment section, there may be regular contributors but that doesn’t mean they represent the Fairbanks community at large. There may be strong voices at the Eagle- that also doesn’t represent the community. The Eagle used to be it, now there is the ANNEX, the Loon. It is time to open up and reach out. The library is one more piece of our core.

What would have happened if someone else had purchased that land? What else could have come in there? We are preserving the core of Ester. We want the trail. We have created a space for gathering, music, weddings, etc.

The money we got last year, $50,000, was $.07 from each Alaskan. If you have a problem we’ll give you your 7 cents back

Ester is more than a zip code

We need to be positive: We cannot be petty or get caught up in in-fighting. We have to work together. This friction doesn’t help. Tomorrow’s ECA meeting we are going to smile; We are going to be calm and kind. If Mark brings it up we will listen and relax and take it in. We are not going to back down, We are not going to withdraw our request. We believe what we are doing is worth funding

If you have further concerns please come to our meeting. Fill out our survey- put in your 2 cents, Bring your concerns to us directly. Let us not take up the ECA’s time. We are not working against these organizations, We want to work together

Suggested to Nancy T. and Susan working together more closely

Calypso is applying for 2013 funds

We need to sit down and work out what the priorities of the community are. Work out if we should be taking turns. We need to take a pro-active approach

We have an image right now that is not really great with a lot of people. We need to consider how we can better represent ourselves. We need to better publicize what we are doing for the community.

As individuals we do not speak for the library. Individual personalities are different.

People see us as always asking

Get our posters out for our lectures

Two articles posted to Facebook: How to make a great library- events, spaces, programs, etc. A gold mine of ideas

Town gown—The library- the ivory towers on the hill. And so much more- music, events, education. More than just school and tests- look at the big picture. We are not robbing the community- we are here to share-We are adding to the community.

There will be a positive result from this. We will let the issue be brought up. We are going to apply. We worked with both boards- would like to do that better in the future. Give a great presentation to the board: Concise and positive, Have our achievements listed: Our non-profit, buying the land, lectures, events, zero net energy building, survey

Eric: Move to adjourn

Nancy: second

Approved: 12:45

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Board of Directors

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