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updated: 10/17/2011 6:24 PM

Sugar Grove Library asks ex-director to mediation over differences

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The Sugar Grove Library board has agreed to try mediation with the library director it fired in July.

The board voted 4-3 last week to offer to meet with Beverly Holmes Hughes to see if it can work out differences and rehire her. Trustees Bill Durrenberger, Daniel Herkes, Anthony Oliver and Julie Wilson voted in favor. Board President Joan Roth, Vice President Art Morrical and Bob Bergman voted against the measure.

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In July, Wilson, Roth, Morrical and Bergman voted to fire Hughes. Oliver was not on the board.

Wilson said Monday she is willing to try mediation because "I've looked at it (rehiring Hughes) from both sides. ... I would keep an open mind with that thought."

Going through mediation would, to her, "help to make the definitive vote" on the matter, one way or the other.

Oct. 6, Oliver suggested the board try mediation. The board discussed the idea, but did not take action. Oliver, Durrenberger and Herkes believe the board could save money by rehiring Hughes, who worked at a salary substantially below what seems to be the going rate for directors of Illinois metropolitan-area libraries the size of Sugar Grove's.

Wilson said the board did not set a date for the mediation nor make arrangements on how to do it. She believes the board must meet first to decide who will represent it in the mediation, and what terms and "what we would want" from Hughes.

Roth and Morrical could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

Hughes refused to comment, on the advice of her attorney.

Pressured by angry residents and Durrenberger, the board released a statement Aug. 25 explaining its reasons for firing Hughes. It said the four trustees who voted to fire Hughes did so because of increasing tensions between them and her, because she had spent money without telling them and had not provided financial information to their satisfaction.

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