City council can overrule library board decision on book

1 month ago Fremont Tribune

One debate about the presence of the book “Sex is a Funny Word” in Fremont’s Keene Memorial Library has been what entity has final authority over the book’s use in the library.

A review of the book by the five volunteers on the Keene Memorial Library Advisory Board is in process, and the board has placed the issue on the agenda for the board’s Feb. 20 meeting, said Library Director Laura England-Biggs.

But, contrary to past public statements, the volunteer board’s decision is not final. According to the Fremont Municipal Code, the city council has the authority to overrule any decision by the library board.

According to the city’s municipal code — specifically Chapter 3, Article 7, section 3-705 (h) library board — which states, “All actions of the Library Board shall be subject to the review and control of the City Council.”

For clarification on the interpretation of the city’s municipal code, the Tribune contacted City Attorney Travis Jacott as well as England-Biggs for official interpretation of the section of the code.

Jacott said he did not want to make comments or relay legal opinions on any interpretation of the municipal code, but did not deny that the reading of the code gives final authority over library board decisions to the eight-person city council.

“I am not comfortable giving out legal opinions. I have no comment on that. I would say that we would look at that section to see what authority the library board has,” Jacott said in a telephone interview. “I think the ordinance speaks for itself. If the issue comes up, I will advise the board and council what to do. I think the ordinance speaks for itself.”

England-Biggs reaffirmed Jacott’s assessment, and said she is now aware that the city council has authority over the library advisory board. She also said the library’s policy of the advisory board being the final decider over books and materials does not follow the city’s municipal code.

“I would have to agree with Travis on that. He has the legal expertise. The way the policy is written, unfortunately, it may not be accurate,” England-Biggs said. “

Under the current process, if a resident or library contests books or other library materials, and fills out an official complaint form, the initial review and decision falls on England-Biggs. If the library director decision is contested, a complainant can then appeal to the five-member Keene Memorial Library Advisory Board.

In the weeks since the first complaint about the book by local grandmother and downtown business owner Sandra Murray — who spoke out on Dec. 27 about the book and four others in the library — several officials, including England-Biggs has said the library’s policy was that the library board was the final say on any matter related to contested books.

After her initial comments on the books on Dec. 27, Murray then filed an official contested books or materials complaint with the library. That complaint — seeking the total removal of “Sex is a Funny Word” — was denied by England-Biggs on Jan. 16. Following that ruling, Murray then officially appealed England-Biggs decision to the library board itself.

The debate over what entity has final say over the books presence arose again during the public comment period of the Jan. 31 city council meeting, when Gloria Yerger — wife of former council member Brad Yerger — told the council she believed the city’s municipal code gives the power over library books and materials to the city council, not the volunteer library board.

“It has been reported the library board has final say on the matter of this book and if it remains available in the library. Regardless of (library) policies, the city municipal code trumps such interpretations. The city’s municipal code states that all actions of the library board shall be subject to the review and control of the city council,” Gloria Yerger said. “That puts the council in the proverbial hot seat. I admonish each of you to read this book yourself in preparation for the public reaction to a library board decision and recommendation to retain this book.”

England-Biggs said the five-member library board will discuss the appeal during its Monday, Feb. 20, meeting at the Fremont Municipal Building, 400 E. Military Ave.

“They do not have a specific period of time (to review the book), but we do have it on the agenda for the Feb. 20 to review the book,” she explained. “There is no normal, because this is our first time. Each of the board members has a copy of the book and is reading it at this time.”

During the Jan. 31 council meeting, more than a dozen local residents spoke during public comment about the book controversy. England-Biggs was present during the comments, and said she respected every person’s opinions.

“I thought everyone who spoke was passionate, and I respect their rights to express themselves,” England-Biggs noted.











* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy. Jeff Forward

Your notification has been saved.

There was a problem saving your notification.


Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Manage followed notifications
Read On "Fremont Tribune"
More News On "Fremont Tribune"
29 days ago - Alameda County landlords owed thousands in rent, call for an end to eviction moratorium 29 days ago - Monday Feb. 27 COVID-19 update: 4 deaths in Douglas County 29 days ago - State basketball preview: 6A, 5A tournaments return to Weber State’s Dee Events Center this week 29 days ago - One Wealth Advisors LLC invests in Enovix Co. (NASDAQ:ENVX) 29 days ago - Uncommon length makes Pleasant Valley’s 2-3 a no-scoring zone 29 days ago - Study: Back-to-back hurricanes likely to come more often 29 days ago - What’s Happening Vegas? – March 2023 29 days ago - Osceola County community events calendar for 03/01/2023 29 days ago - North Adams, East Clinton, Unioto still alive 29 days ago - North Korea holds rare meeting on farming amid food shortage 1 month ago - 'Dilbert,' Scott Adams lose distributor over racist remarks 1 month ago - Soap or phone call? Colo. lawmakers want to make prison phone calls free 1 month ago - EXPLAINER: Windstorm was likely a derecho. What is that? 1 month ago - What's Happening in Las Vegas for this Year's March Madness 1 month ago - Outsmarting humans just one step for AI video game players 1 month ago - 'Cocaine Bear' gets high with $23.1M, 'Ant-Man' sinks fast 1 month ago - 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' dominates at SAG Awards 1 month ago - Digital Transformation: The Revolutionary Impact of Technology in Africa 1 month ago - ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI) Price Target Increased to $44.00 by Analysts at Lake Street Capital 1 month ago - Season 3 of Outer Banks disappoints critics; watch only if you were a die-hard fan of earlier seasons, they suggest 1 month ago - Board Game and Card Game Market Size in 2023 with [ STATISTICS FIGURES] Future Development Status and Forecast up to 2029 1 month ago - Tabletop Gaming Market Size in 2023 NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT and Latest Innovation in Analytics Sector till 2029 1 month ago - Celona Offers Most Comprehensive Private 5G Solutions for U.S. and Foreign Markets 1 month ago - ShotSpotter, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSTI) to Post Q1 2023 Earnings of ($0.03) Per Share, Northland Capmk Forecasts 1 month ago - Asian shares track Wall Street decline on hot economic data 1 month ago - Final Nebraska high school swimming and diving season leaders 1 month ago - Girls BB: Saluting Section Champions 1 month ago - Tens of thousands protest Mexico electoral reforms 1 month ago - Third finals appearance the charm for Hortonville's Skebba; Stoffel makes history for Appleton North 1 month ago - Medical Blades Market Business Opportunities, Top Players and Forecast 2030 1 month ago - Central College Dutch Sports Update – 2/26/2023 1 month ago - Buhro takes individual crown as Oak Harbor earns sectional championship 1 month ago - Nebraska conservatives set sights on education takeover – Associated Press 1 month ago - Back-to-back: Minico successfully defends 4A state wrestling championship 1 month ago - Here are Saturday's high school sports results 1 month ago - Farewell, Fontana: NASCAR's last weekend at a racing gem 1 month ago - Kansas Democrats pick Repass as their new chair despite campaign baggage 1 month ago - Tesla’s Global Engineering HQ in Palo Alto — Opening Party Highlights (Pics, Videos, Quotes) 1 month ago - San Ann'as Pizza and Mexican celebrating 45th anniversary 1 month ago - L.A. on the Record: The Senate takes one more look at Garcetti 1 month ago - Dodge County real estate transfers 1 month ago - How UNL instructors are tackling the emergence of ChatGPT and other AI in higher education 1 month ago - Some Democratic-led states seek to bolster voter protections 1 month ago - Casey Vaughan: Only rain should go down a storm drain 1 month ago - Nebraska conservatives set sights on education takeover 1 month ago - West Michigan Conference basketball: Girls and boys roundup from Feb. 24, 2023 – CatchMark Sports 1 month ago - Jeff Yost: Look Upstream 1 month ago - Brokers Set Expectations for ShotSpotter, Inc.'s Q4 2023 Earnings (NASDAQ:SSTI) 1 month ago - Building affordable homes in Fremont 1 month ago - Local chef to open farm-to-table eatery in Fremont 1 month ago - Jeanna Wilcoxen Murder: Where Is Jeremiah Connelly Now? 1 month ago - More than 70 soldiers killed in Burkina Faso, extremists say 1 month ago - Clyde Council to consider citizens raising chickens in town 1 month ago - Wilhelm: More on Jacksons, Willow Hill and efforts to share insight into African American history 1 month ago - STATE HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS: Crowded at the top ... Trojans third, but well within striking distance in 5A tournament 1 month ago - Bulldog wrestlers have solid day at state 1 month ago - High school boys basketball: 6A/5A second round recap 1 month ago - Head-To-Head Analysis: Amprius Technologies (NYSE:AMPX) & Novanta (NASDAQ:NOVT) 1 month ago - Here are Friday's high school sports results 1 month ago - It’s Official: California Will Be Tesla’s Engineering & AI Headquarters
free geoip