Library Board Considers Keeping George Vickery On

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Last month Vickery announced his plans to retire March 31st. The library board discussed paying Vickery a lump sum severance package from donated funds to the not-for-profit regional library system, but legal hangups may have gotten in the way.

Vickery said Tuesday that in place of the severance package, the library board agreed to pay him to stay on board and work as a consultant to the board, helping close out the books, but some board members say this isn't the case.

Adelaide Ware said Tuesday that at last week’s library board meeting there was a great deal of discussion regarding paying Vickery a lump sum severance pay or hiring him as a consultant, but she says the motions were made; each one either defeated, withdrawn for lack of support or tabled. She says no official action was taken.

The library board’s attorney agrees. If the offer reappears and Vickery accepts, he would not be paid by the county, and his continued employment by the library board would not subject to county commission approval.

But county commissioners say the donated money is still taxpayer money. The question remains, do those contributors want their money spent on library upgrades, or employee severance packages and salaries?

"Do we need to pay $60,000 of taxpayers’ money for a consultant for this transition that looks like a pretty simple deal where the assets of the not-for-profit empty into the library system through the county."

"It's not county taxpayer money, it's donated money by taxpayers to people who run the library. And once the library is gone I'm not sure what the benefit of paying a director would be."

Vickery says he anticipates the board will continue to pay him though September. That's about $60,000 of his remaining salary.

"One attorney said today while it's helpful it's not necessary to have anyone else there to close and account. He assured it would be done in a month, where are the other five months of money going?"

In the process of approving the transfer Tuesday, commissioners penned a letter to the library board making sure they understand the commission is opposed to hiring Vickery as a consultant.

Also in the letter, commissioners pointed out no one would receive unscheduled raises before the county takes over. The attorney for the library board, Rob Jackson, says it's likely a decision of some sort will be hammered out in the March 28th library board meeting.