THORNBURY – It was an overflowing and rancorous crowd in Thornbury’s L.E. Shore Library Tuesday night, demanding answers to the decision of the Library Board to give working notice to nine employees in a "restructuring process."
Speaker after speaker harangued the board of their decision.
Using examples from lack of transparency to incompetence to destroying the morale of the staff, speaker after speaker looked for answers from the library board.
The nine-member board listened in silence to the barrage of anger and dismay.
The Town of The Blue Mountains mayor John McKean took the microphone and tried to get the meeting back on track but was stopped by booing.
The board and the CEO of the library did not look prepared for the blowback they were facing from the packed meeting room.
After hearing motions from the floor, they agreed to delay the dismissal process for nine employees for one week before the meeting came to a halt and the committee adjourned abruptly to go into a back committee room, leaving an angry crowd with an unresolved situation.
On March 8, the library board made a restructuring announcement that will see the operations of the Craigleith Heritage Depot Museum merged with those of the library.
Many of the protesters are asking The Blue Mountain council to follow the same path as Collingwood when the library board was dissolved to resolve a local dispute.
Patrick Delaney, the unofficial leader of the group, was dismayed that although the board had many written deputations ahead of the meeting, the board did not answer any questions or concerns that had been raised.
"The board has had all of the questions that we had for six or seven days now, and tonight there was complete emptiness," said Delaney. "They’re hiding (the board), there’s a sense of emptiness, from this meeting, this issue is completely unresolved."
Mayor John McKean thought that the meeting went fairly well but was adamant that this was a "board issue" and not something that the town council should be involved in.
"I know that with a volunteer board, that they have done a lot of thinking about this," said McKean. "What I would ask them (the board) is that in a year’s time where are we going to be? In a year’s time, what benefit is this going to bring?"