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Geneva library director: ‘I am not being forced out’

Geneva Library Board to meet Wednesday

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 11:40 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – With his resignation letter still in the works, Geneva Library Director Matt Teske said Tuesday he is not being forced out.

“I will be presenting the board a letter at the Wednesday meeting, which will explain the circumstances and reasons behind my resignation,” Teske said in an email response. “I will state now that I am not being forced out of this position.”

The library board has a special meeting 6:30 p.m. today at 127 James St., for a series of personnel changes.

According to the agenda, after a closed session, Assistant Director Peggy Carlson is announcing her retirement effective June 27. Teske’s resignation then is to be accepted. Teske then would be appointed as an assistant director, followed by the appointment of Marilyn Boria as interim director.

Last week, the board approved a contract with Boria for her to serve as a temporary consultant to the library at 15 hours a week for $60 an hour.

Teske’s email did not respond to a voicemail question asking the reason for his seven-week leave late last year.

Board President Esther Steel said the board did not pressure or coerce Teske to resign. Steel said the succession of actions the board is expected to take would not be possible were it not for Carlson’s announcement of her retirement.

“We’ve come up with a solution that helps everyone,” Steel said. “I think the solution the library board has come up with is in the best interest of the library and the district. Our job is to take care of that library, taxpayers and patrons of that library. That has to be our first concern.”

Carlson said she will have been assistant director at the library six years in April and had been planning to announce her retirement, but she did not want to say anything too far in advance.

“My plans were in my mindset a long time ago,” Carlson said. “It was just something I was going to say in the right timeframe. And when things unfolded with Matt, I thought it was time to say, if this was of any interest to the board, I wanted them to know that was my plan.”

As to the board’s apparent desire to have Teske step down and serve as an assistant director in tandem with her, Carlson said it would be no problem.

“Matt and I have always worked very well together,” Carlson said. “I think it will be just fine if that is what the board decides to do.”

Teske came under fire during a special meeting last week when Trustee Susan Shivers did not want to hire Boria as a consultant while still paying a director. 

“Our director has been on the job six or seven years, and either he can get it right by now or he cannot,” Shivers said at the time. 

The library board will discuss its next steps for a new director search at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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