Passaic library official cries foul

1 11 2007

PASSAIC — A man who led the city library’s board of trustees on critical decisions about the library system’s future was not, for a time, a bona fide member of the board. And now Mayor Samuel Rivera has decided, nearly 10 months after his term expired, to replace him.Craig Miller’s term expired on Dec. 31, 2006, according to City Clerk Amada Curling. Yet Miller has continued to act as board chairman, doing things such as approving budgets and bills, establishing library policies and devising long-term plans.

“To the best of my recollection, the board assumed that because no one was appointed in his place, he could continue to serve,” Library Director Alan Bobowski said Wednesday.

Bobowski said Rivera sent him a letter last week stating that Walter Porto, former chairman of the city’s Planning Board, would fill Miller’s expired term.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Rivera said, “Although we thank him for his cooperation with the library, I think we’ve got to get other people. I think his term expired a long time ago.”

Earlier this month, Miller led the call for the library board to initiate a lawsuit against the city and two local developers. The library board believes the two developers, George Capodagli and Rigo Sanchez of River Edge at Passaic Urban Renewal, LLC, owe the library $100,000 from a redevelopment agreement the men signed with the city in 2005. The dispute has been taken to state Superior Court in Paterson, where a decision is pending.

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