Mayor asked to shelve Gary library board appointee

2012-03-29T19:45:00Z Mayor asked to shelve Gary library board appointeeBy Lu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 29, 2012 7:45 pm  • 

GARY | Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is being asked to schedule a public hearing to remove Rayfield Fisher, a member of the Gary Public Library board appointed by former Mayor Rudy Clay.

Ben Coleman, a former Gary library board president, hand-delivered the request to Freeman-Wilson's office Wednesday. The typed letter cites Indiana Code 36-12-2, section 20, which governs removal of a library board member.

That section of law states, "A library board member may be removed at any time by the appointing authority, after public hearing, for any cause that interferes with the proper discharge of the member's duties as a member of the board; or that jeopardizes public confidence in the member."

Coleman said the second provision is the basis for his request. Fisher voted in January to convert the downtown Gary Public Library into a museum.

"We have submitted a petition with 3,500 names on it saying Gary citizens want a down-sized library, not a museum. We have lost confidence in Rayfield Fisher. The public is not satisfied," Coleman said.

Fisher, who serves as the mayor's appointee, is the fourth library board member Coleman has sought to remove.

He previously asked the Gary Community School Corp. board to recall its appointees Tony Walker and Jonathan Boose. Coleman also requested that the Lake County Council hold a public hearing to remove its appointee, Cynthia Watts.

"If you don't have money for a library, you cannot afford a museum," he said. "The $3 million plus dollars being used to renovate for a museum would be better invested into our library system."

Coleman said although Freeman-Wilson did not appoint Fisher, "it is now her responsibility."

"We would like her to pay attention and set a date to have a hearing," he said. "This is nothing personal. It's all business."

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