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Board's request to alter charter granted by judge

Staff Writer

The irony of yesterday's decision in Allegheny County Orphans' Court didn't escape Glenn Walsh, a life trustee of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie.

"The fate of Andrew Carnegie's Library was decided in Mr. Frick's building," Walsh said.

In the Frick Building in Downtown Pittsburgh, Judge Walter Little decided to grant a request by 16 of the library board's 17 trustees to amend the library's century-old bylaws, Walsh being th e only trustee to oppose the request.

As soon as its next meeting on Tuesday, June 27, the library may elect three new term trustees to the board as a result of the ruling.

Betsy Martin, library board president, says the ruling allows the board to elect three board members will be elected for a three-year term or three will leave the board as a result of the judge's ruling. Each year thereafter, the board will vote for three term trustees, who would serve staggered terms.

The court ruling may bring new people to the organization within the next few years. Martin also said Larry Harkovich, Carnegie Council president, will appoint two council members and mayor Bob Heinrich to serve on the board.

Bylaws adopted in 1899 provided the Board of Trustees with 17 members made up of 10 life trustees and seven ex-officio trustees with elected borough council and the mayor.

Under the new petition to modify the trust, the board would have 12 trustees, with nine term trustees and three ex-officio trustees.

Trustees agreed to amend the trust to gain a quorum on board and to receive grant funding from private foundations to rehabilitate the old library.

One of the problems of the trust was a quorum or majority of nine members could not be obtained, mostly because ex-officio trustees did not attend. Now, only seven trustees would be needed to gain a quorum.

"We have not had a quorum since February," Martin said. "Anything that requires a vote cannot be done."

The current life trustees include Martin, Rosanna Bogats, Doug Dombrowski, Cheri Hanczar, Mary Hof, John Nolte, Chris Raftis, Helen Shick, Glenn Walsh. One life trustee seat is vacant. Heinrich and all members of borough council are also on the board.

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