BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) – Belvidere City Council voted to fill the Ida Public Library Board of Trustees Vacancy with Steve Pierce.
Belvidere Mayor Clinton Morris appointed Pierce. The mayor is in charge of making the appointment whenever there is an empty spot, which then goes to a vote at council.
“It’s my appointment I want somebody who I feel is the best,” Mayor Morris said at the City Council.
Vice President of the Libraries Board, Jim Lee spoke at the Council meetings to voice his confusion with the choice.
The Library Board in the past has nominated an option for the vacancy. This is through people submitting applications for the position.
“It’s usually one or two, and then we’ll interview them and the board will talk to them in many cases. And then the committee talks about their candidacy. What are the pros? What are the cons? What are they going to bring to the library? How are they going to improve it?” Lee said.
Board members say they never received Pierce’s application to apply and were unaware that he was the choice of the mayor. Still, they do understand he doesn’t need to choose their nominee.
Lee chalked it up to a communication issue and hoping to work on that moving forward. The Library Board members felt being in the loop and having an input on who could be joining the board would only benefit the Library.
“The mayor appoints or suggests and then it goes right to the city council. The library is not involved in the statute. Some time in the past that was changed and it has changed, I think for a couple of reasons. One is it was deemed important to have a system that differentiates the candidates and picks the best,” Lee said.
The Mayor is allowed to choose whoever they would like. The Board agreed with his choice with 7 in favor of Pierce.
Mayor Morris was unable to speak with me about the appointment.