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Five candidates vie for spots on Sugar Grove library board

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 9:35 a.m. CDT

SUGAR GROVE – Four candidates will be on the April ballot to fill four seats on the Sugar Grove Library Board, and a fifth write-in candidate hopes to land one of those seats.

Incumbent Robert Bergman, Edward DeBartolo and write-in candidate Pat Graceffa hope to fill two six-year terms. Incumbent Anthony Oliver is running for one four-year term, and Louise Coffman is running for one two-year term.

For some candidates, establishing a long-range plan for the library is a top priority, while others said they want to focus on enhancing the library’s book collection and raise the library’s operating budget.

Coffman said she sees a need for a long-range plan for the library because she didn’t think the current board had that in mind.

“In order to make the library successful, you need a good long-range plan,” she said.

In an email, Graceffa said she also supports establishing a long-term plan, something she said she has consistently advocated for since the new library was built three years ago. She said the public still hasn’t seen a long-term plan update although they were told that the board was moving in a new direction.

“You can be sure I will ask to see any progress made on this plan, and I will request that the plan be made available to the public,” she said in the email. “Our new library needs an up-to-date ‘planned’ direction.”

Incumbent Anthony Oliver said he’s interested in running again because he feels there’s “unfinished business,” particularly increasing the library’s operating budget. He said with the energy of a new board and director, he thinks it’s possible to persuade the public to pass a referendum to increase the operating budget. He said the library needs that budget increase “to provide services the community really needs.”

“At the moment, our hands are tied with what we can do,” he said.

Incumbent Bergman said he feels the board is “finally getting our act together,” noting the increased library hours. If elected, he said he hopes to improve the library’s collection.

“That’s something we continue to do,” he said. “Whenever you’re running an organization, you always have a lot of small changes that can be made. You can do things to help everybody do their job better.”

DeBartolo, who could not be reached for comment, previously told the Chronicle that one of his goals would be to generate revenues so the library could expand its hours. He also has said the library could be more aggressive about renting out its meeting rooms to local businesses.

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