Howland Library Budget Passes

Two new trustees elected to board

The Howland Public Library District budget was approved by voters on Thursday (April 27) by a 247-27 vote.

The state tax cap for the library for 2023-24 was 1.02 percent, or $21,000; the library board voted in February to ask voters to exceed the cap with a 7 percent increase, or $90,000, for a tax levy of $1.37 million.

Emily Pullen received 148 votes and Joseph Vergolina received 145 to fill two open seats on the board, each with a five-year term. The other two candidates, Elizabeth Murphy and Margaret Watkinson, received 138 and 43 votes, respectively.

Pullen, who has degrees in English and library science, is the reader services coordinator for the New York Public Library; Vergolina, who has degrees in dramatic writing and military history, is the director of strategic accounts at Virtual Incentives.

Library Director Kristen Salierno said before the vote that, if the budget passes, it would allow the library to expand its collection and pay staff members who hold four-year degrees or higher “what is considered a livable wage in Dutchess County.”

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