Queens Borough President Melinda Katz today announced she is removing six individuals from their positions on the Queens Library’s Board of Trustees.
Borough President Katz took this action because the six Trustees failed to act in a manner that furthered the educational purposes of the Queens Library (also known as the Queens Borough Public Library, or QBPL). The Borough President acted under the authority of a new state law enacted last month that gives the two elected officials who appoint the Board’s members the power to remove the Trustees they have appointed when those Trustees fail to satisfactorily perform their duties.
The two appointing authorities for the Queens Library’s Board of Trustees are the Queens Borough President (who appoints nine of the Board’s 19 members) and the Mayor of New York City (who appoints the remaining ten).
The six being removed Borough President Katz were all appointed by former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall for five-year terms. Before the new law was enacted, a Board member could not be removed before the expiration of his or her term unless the Mayor and at least two-thirds of the Board supported his or her removal.The individuals being removed from the Board by Borough President Katz are:
- Jacqueline Arrington
- Joseph R. Ficalora
- William Jefferson
- Grace Lawrence
- Terri C. Mangino
- George L. Stamatiades
Also today, the de Blasio Administration moved to remove two of the mayoral appointees (Patricia Flynn and Stephen Van Anden) from the Board of Trustees.
Borough President Katz believes these six Trustees merited removal because they failed in their duty to properly oversee the finances of the Queens Library, which receives more than 85 percent of its funding from government sources. They also failed to adequately protect and preserve the Library’s resources and physical property by voting to block the New York City Comptroller’s legitimate efforts to obtain Library financial information and to audit the Library’s funding streams.