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updated: 9/9/2011 4:30 AM

Sugar Grove library board critic fills trustee spot

Sugar Grove Library board fills vacancy

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  • Anthony Oliver of Sugar Grove. The library board appointed him Thursday to fill a vacancy. He will serve until April 30, 2013.

    Anthony Oliver of Sugar Grove. The library board appointed him Thursday to fill a vacancy. He will serve until April 30, 2013.


Critics of the Sugar Grove Library board applauded the board's decision to appoint one of those critical voices, Anthony Oliver, to a trustee vacancy.

"Anthony is the best candidate that we have. He has tremendous experience with buildings, with libraries. He is our best choice," said Vice President Art Morrical. Morrical is the board's personnel representative and was charged with recommending one of nine applicants.

Oliver replaces Sabrina Malano, who quit in June. In a July interview, she said there was "just a little too much negativity," and that personal attacks on board members at the June meeting disturbed her. Audience members at that meeting were upset over the board's picks to fill two vacancies on the board. She has attended several board meetings as a private citizen since then.

Library trustees voted to fire the board's director, Beverly Holmes Hughes, in July.

Applicants for the latest vacancy included critics Pat Graceffa, Doug Hartman and Louise Kaufman. Graceffa had applied for one of the previous vacancies.

Oliver's appointment was approved 6-0. But board Secretary Bill Durrenberger, who has sided with library board critics, did say he thought Graceffa -- president of the Sugar Grove Library Friends, which disbanded in August -- should have been appointed.

"As far as I am concerned there is nobody on the face of this planet, nobody more deserving and more qualified to serve on this board, than Pat Graceffa," he said.

Oliver has lived in Sugar Grove for 15 years. He is an architect who works as an owner's representative on library building projects for Capaul-Oliver Services Ltd. He is 66, and this is first public office.

"This library family is in disarray and very angry at each other for various reasons," Oliver said. "I do not know all the reasons the board considered it so important to dismiss Beverly Holmes Hughes at this time. I do know that it is time to ensure that we hire the very best director."

He also said he wants to make sure the board offers a severance compensation package to Hughes that "properly thanks her for her service to the library."

Oliver will serve until the 2013 election.

Criticism of the board's July 15 firing of Hughes continued, with audience members vociferously calling for the trustees who voted to fire Hughes to quit. More than 40 people attended the meeting.

Some were angered by President Joan Roth's comments in a Kane County Chronicle article published earlier this week. She was quoted as saying: "It's time to move on, A decision was made. We're not going to undo it. It's time to move on."

Graceffa said that was Roth "thumbing her nose at taxpayers." Former trustee Erin Erickson said the board doesn't want the public paying attention to it. "They want us to stop questioning their incompetence," she said.

Graceffa and Erickson, who both applied for the trustee vacancy, made their comments during the 43-minute public comment portion at the beginning of the meeting.

The board next meets Sept. 22, when it will have a public hearing on the 2011-12 budget.