Members of the Lawrence County Library Board of Trustees met on Monday afternoon a couple weeks ago and things were less than pleasant as comments made by board members towards “online news sources” (That’s us folks) concerning stories that included items they did not agree with, especially who should choose board members and what to do with the million plus dollars the board has left on hand currently.
They were rude, and antagonistic towards our reporter, Susan Salyer and Librarian Pelfrey refused to give any of the info handouts to The Lazer.
And Library Board of Trustees Treasurer Scott Osborne has been on a tirade in his classroom at LCHS using repeated ugly remarks to describe The Lazer, a 14 year old first of its kind community website in Kentucky.
He has called us “not a legitimate news source” and that we pay “slave wages” of which he has no knowledge. And he’s the media teacher!
He has also demeaned a student over her mother working for The Lazer. He told her daughter in front of the class that, “If you are working for The Lazer in three years there will be violence.”
Ironically, Mr. Osborne has always been a Lazer supporter and sent student work to be posted earlier this year before the library story broke.
He is a well liked teacher and the union rep at the school so he’s being supported in this attack by supt. Rob Fletcher and BOE chairman Heath Preston, both of whom have been notified in writing of the conduct. No answer.
Threatening violence is not acceptable for “anyone” in school especially from a teacher of such high self esteem.
With the passage of Sen Bill 167 last week things are not going to be the same at the library board.
Members will be chosen by the county judge with the approval of the fiscal court and the state library board has no say so on who is nominated as has been the case in the past.
The new law also limits the libraries, many of which have loaded their coffers with millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, to expending more than $1 million without court approval and mentions helping with education in the counties of the state.
State Senator Phillip Wheeler said that his bill was supported by nearly every county judge/executive in the state but a lot of pressure from banks and library boards were against the authority switch.
“The library board has been lying through their teeth about the bill. They acted like they are all going to get replaced in July. That is simply not the case. The Fiscal Court will need to pass a resolution to adopt the new system in July. Then Phil can replace them as their terms expire,” State Senator Phillip Wheeler said yesterday.
As treasurer of the library board Osborne has not turned in a financial report since 2019 to the Ky. Dept. of Local Govt.
The board has stonewalled on what bank the library has its reported $1.5 million (left from $6 million) deposited in and the name of the bank the board does business with. Carlie Pelfrey, the library director, has said to”look on her website” but it isn’t there.
She sent an email to our reporter that showed the library does business with all four local banks. Is that standard business practice or even legal?
I am not saying anyone on the library board has done anything illegal or there is any money missing, but I really wonder why they are protecting their finances so fiercely, especially Mr. Osborne, who I always thought was a good guy. Still do, but he is butt hurt and not used to being questioned on anything, and he is making a fool of himself in the classroom.
A lot of Lawrence County taxpayers want to know the answers to the library finances questions and we will continue to pursue them whether they like it or not.