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Village president replaces O'Connor on the library board

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Roy Sjoberg is the new board president

Jim O'Connor, president of the Hudson Area Joint Library Board for the past seven years, is no longer a member of the board.

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North Hudson Village President George Klein has replaced O'Connor as the village's representative on the library.

O'Connor says he disagrees with Klein's interpretation of the joint library agreement that his term on the library board expired June 1, but he decided not to contest his removal from the board.

The fact that Klein allowed O'Connor to choose his replacement made the move easier to accept.

O'Connor nominated Rob Howard for the position.

Klein informed O'Connor of his decision to remove him from the board in an April 8 letter.

"I have been reviewing volumes of documentation as I prepare a new slate of members of the various commissions and committees that serve the village," Klein wrote. "In doing so, I realize that your term is up on May 31, less than two months hence. This is based on the joint library agreement signed on Sept. 4, 2008."

He went on to say that agreement limits board members to three-year terms.

"You have, therefore, been on the board for almost eight years, far more than the contract stipulates," Klein wrote to O'Connor.

Klein also thanked O'Connor for his service on the library board.

"Some would say that you were a driving force in moving us to such a beautiful facility, and we recognize that accomplishment as well," he wrote.

O'Connor responded with a letter to Klein dated May 13.

"I believe your reading of the joint library agreement is incomplete," O'Connor wrote. "While the term of appointment for library board members is three years, there is no restriction in the agreement or Wisconsin Statutes 43.54 (1m) and (1)(b to c) that limits the number of terms to which a person may be appointed. So I and others have been appointed to successive terms, with my 2009 appointment having two years remaining."

O'Connor added that his objective of providing a better facility for the Hudson Area Library had been accomplished and he didn't intend to contest Klein's decision.

"And I do appreciate your offer to allow me to nominate a replacement," O'Connor wrote. "I have asked Rob Howard to succeed me on the library board, and he has agreed. Rob has been active in several Hudson organizations and comes well recommended for the strong contributions he has made. I am confident he will serve the village and library well."

O'Connor informed the library board of the development Monday night.

He was asked to serve as an advisor to new Library Board President Roy Sjoberg in seeing through renovations to the library's new facility at First and Vine streets. He agreed to do it.

O'Connor also was appointed to the board's finance committee.

Sjoberg was unanimously elected board president after Mike Hipsher turned down a nomination for the position.

Hipsher agreed to continue in his role as vice president.

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