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Grafton Public Library Trustees Meeting Minutes

September 17, 2015, 6:30 pm


Attending:  Lucia Corwin, Christopher Schemm, Deborah Toomey, librarian Michelle Dufort, guest Barbara Friedman.

Deborah Toomey brought the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.


Report from TIAA_CREF Endowment Manager

Barbara Friedman distributed a portfolio review to all board members. Copies have been placed in Bob Donald’s and Andrea Dunmire’s mailboxes. After a question from Christopher Schemm about a possible raise in interest rates, Barbara addressed this by answering that TIAA-CREF believes the raise will be slow and have little dramatic impact and went on to give an overall assessment of the current financial picture which reflects little worry about inflation, confidence over solid U.S. indicators and an watchfulness and awareness of emerging markets such as China and Brazil.  Her projections are for 6% per annum in stocks and 1% per annum in bonds for the next 4-6 years before a state of normalization is reached , but does not see any signs of the excess leading to the recession of ’08. 

Barbara then reported more in detail on the portfolio which includes the established trust fund and the JLS memorial fund. The two trusts together have 62% in equities. TIAA-CREF has had the account for 11 years and since inception the investment return for the main trust is up 6.7%. The JLS fund is down .7 per annum, but inception date for this fund is November 2014. Both trusts reflect a 60/40 split, with the larger portion in equities and the smaller in fixed income and cash. To the extent that monies come into the Jerald Stevens Memorial Fund, it is allocated across the account to maintain the 60/40 spread. Barbara does rebalance the portfolio occasionally as needed to maintain this allocation. 

Barbara will be scheduling a call with Bob Donald to go over portfolio details and encourages other board members to contact her with any questions that might arise or pass them along to Bob to ask.


The minutes from the August meeting were read and approved.

Stevens Family Meeting Report

Lucia reported that the meeting with Kate Stevens in August went very well. Discussion involved the family’s desire for increased publicity for the JLS Memorial Fund to encourage others to give similar gifts. Ways to increase public awareness include a plaque at the library and/or the possibility of an outdoor reading area with table in honor of Jerry.




Librarian’s Report

Michelle reported on the status of the automation project.  Discussion took place about forms and paperwork needed from independent contractors before they begin work at the library. The upcoming Daisy Turner’s Kin book discussion on September 30 was highlighted and Michelle asked board members to attend if possible, as this proves to be a big program for the library. The book sale results were discussed, Michelle thanked the board for all their work and Lucia thanked Michelle for her organization. Michelle reported that books still remain in Tom Grape’s garage, but a plan is in place for removal.

Building and Grounds

Lucia reported that Ivor Stevens has been called about the library lawn. Deborah shared an estimate from Melvin Rice about the trees and said that another estimate is forthcoming from All Seasons Tree Service and she will distribute upon arrival.

Lucia will call the painter she contacted previously about an estimate. Deborah contact the Crays to get the name of the painter they used for their house. Michelle put forth the idea about asking the select board about the town crew removing the damaged trees out of the tree removal budget—this would save the library much needed funds if the town is willing to cover it. She suggested a board member or two attend a select board meeting to discuss.

Board members felt that a special meeting could be called to discuss this before the next regularly scheduled meeting.


Other Business

The draft budget for fiscal year 2016 and the financial report for September were distributed. Deborah asked if the cost of painting the building is reflected in the budget. Michelle reported that it is not. The idea about talking to the select board about tree removal was recapped as a way to eliminate some of the deficit.

The annual appeal letter was discussed and it was decided that last year’s letter be emailed to everyone with the request that feedback for changes/additions for the current letter be directed to Deborah Toomey (just Deborah—so Open Meeting law is respected) so she can begin a draft. Any ideas for quotes would be appreciated.

The next meeting of the Board will be held on Thursday, October 15th.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Michelle Dufort

Acting Secretary