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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Monterey Park : City Takes Over Library

October 15, 1987

By a 3-2 vote, the City Council has adopted an ordinance that replaces the governing board of the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library with a new commission that will have only advisory powers.

Councilmen G. Monty Manibog and Chris Houseman voted against the change, arguing that the city cannot legally replace the library board because it was established under authority of the state Education Code specifying that the board manage the library.

Councilman Barry L. Hatch said the library should be run like any other city department, under control of the city manager and City Council. He said a recent disclosure that the library maintained two accounts unknown to the city Finance Department illustrated the need for the city to exert greater authority.

David Bentz, director of management services, said he learned only last June that the library maintained two accounts funded by donations. One account was established to receive a $10,000 building fund donation. The other received $20,000 in donations and spent $18,000 for the library's Asian book collection. Bentz found no evidence that anyone had personally benefited from the accounts, but he said they should have been under control of the city finance office so that customary financial procedures, including regular audits, could have been followed.

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