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Article updated: 1/7/2013 3:07 PM

Despite discontent, Sugar Grove Library board election uncontested

By Susan Sarkauskas

Despite the dissatisfaction voiced the last two years about how the Sugar Grove Library board conducts business, not many people have chosen to run for the office. None of the four races will be contested.

Board President Joan Roth -- the subject of some of the criticism -- is not seeking re-election. And with the November resignation of Trustee Julie Wilson, that means the bloc that got longtime library director Beverly Holmes Hughes fired will be dissolved.

Roth said Monday she is holding true to what she decided when she was elected in 2009: That she would only serve one term. The retired schoolteacher wants more time to pursue other interests, including her love of worldwide travel. She turned down opportunities for several trips, due to her schedule as a library trustee. "When you make the commitment (to serve on a board), you make the commitment," she said.

Incumbent Robert S. Bergman and Edward A. DeBartolo are seeking the two, 6-year terms. Incumbent Anthony Oliver is running for the single 4-year term. Louise Coffman is seeking the one, two-year term.

Bergman has been on the board since 1998, through elections and appointments.

Oliver was appointed to the board in September 2011 to fill the vacancy of Sabrina Malano. Malano quit the board in July 2011, citing "negativity" and "personal attacks" made on board members at the June 2011 meeting when audience members criticized the board for choosing two former library board members, Wilson and Bergman, to fill two vacancies. Critics said Roth, and Trustee Art Morrical picked those two to get enough votes to fire Hughes, the library director at the time.

The board did fire Hughes in July 2011. Coffman and Oliver were among the critics who protested the board's actions. When Oliver became a trustee, he suggested the board rehire Hughes to save money, because it looked like a new director would cost much more than what the board had been paying Hughes.

Roth had also been criticized for hiring, without the board's approval, an Aurora woman to handle the Freedom of Information Act requests the library received, because Hughes had been the only library employee or board member certified for the task. Critics learned the woman, a schoolteacher, had been convicted earlier in the year of felony battery, for deliberately spraying whiteboard cleaner in the face of a 12-year-old student.

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