Old News Archive

Letter to the Editor, Catherine Ellison

July 31, 2007 - TRC

To the Editor:

In regard to the upcoming Hearing and Special Town Meeting scheduled for Aug. 1, 2007:

Article 4-To see if the voters of the Town of Milo will vote that funds generated or donated to a particular Department be designated for use by that department to include

Re: Public Library-Fines, grants, donations, and Trust Fund income….

In my opinion, voting on this item may not be legal.

In my opinion, first consideration should be given to the Milo Free Public Library in respect to its Certificate of Incorporation, dated August 9, 1921. {Legal Name: Milo Free Public Library. Charter Number 19210009ND. Filing Type: Nonprofit Corporation(T-13)
Re: State of Maine, Dept. Secretary of State} (Copies available through Dept.)

In my opinion, the following quote from our library’s Certificate of Incorporation, refers to the Milo Free Public Library’s Board of Trustees: “The real purposes of said corporation are…to acquire, hold and own by devise, bequest, purchase or gift all real and personal property necessary for the maintenance of said library within the limit provided by law, and to do all acts and things, and have all powers, rights and privileges that like corporations possess and enjoy under the law of the State of Maine.”

In my opinion, the assets referred to in the above mentioned Article 4, under Public Library, are the property of the Milo Free Public Library’s Board of Trustees, and decisions as to care and use are solely theirs.

I do not know of any law authorizing the Town Manager to take control of the Milo Free Public Library’s entire financial assets, from April 2001-June 2002. I have not seen any mention of these monies in our town’s annual reports for nearly 5 years. The assets included the Harry A. Snow Endowment, valued at $20,000, April 2001; and the Harry L. Caldwell Fund, a bequest of $10,000 (interest to be used for the purchase of books, as so stated in his will).

In my opinion, the voters should be kept informed.

In my opinion, the financial records of our library’s checking account, 1974-2002, taken from me by the Town Manager May/June 2002, are the property of the Milo Free Public Library, and should be returned to the library. These records are a part of the library’s history. Not only do they contain the paper trail of the library’s assets, but contain details about who gave what in memory of whom; for example: former librarian Grace Clapp, former assistant librarians, Jane Cook and Gladys Bradeen; and more recently our dear friend, Ruth Fletcher.

Catherine K. Ellison

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.