Two of three incumbents on the Riverside Public Library Board of Trustees – both its president and treasurer – have chosen to not seek another term in 2021.
Library board President Joan Wiaduck told the Landmark last week that after a busy eight years that saw trustees lay the groundwork for a major renovation project, it was time to move on.
“I’m a firm believer that unless there’s something major to stay on the board for, I feel it’s a good time for a transition,” Wiaduck said.
She and board Treasurer Michael Flight will leave the board with that major renovation project well under way in the lower level of the library. Wiaduck said work is on schedule for the lower level to reopen to the public, pandemic allowing, by March 1, 2021.
The project is the result of a years’ long campaign that began in 2013 when the library board hired an architectural firm to conduct a space planning exercise. After the final plan was adopted in 2017, the library embarked on a capital campaign that attempted to raise the funds through special events and private donations.
After three years, that effort had succeeded in raising $220,000, much of which was used to create a new Early Learners Area on the lower level, a space the library board used to help convince voters to pass a $1.5 million bond issue in 2020 to complete the plan.
When work is complete, the lower level will have separate spaces for early learners, youth services and teens, a new public meeting room that can be divided to allow more than one program at a time and reconfigured staff offices.
During the two terms Wiaduck and Flight served, the library board undertook other library infrastructure projects, including installing a $370,000 heating and air-conditioning system, making the library’s elevator more accessible and installing new shelving to consolidate the library’s adult collection on the library’s main floor.
“We practically rebuilt that library,” Wiaduck said.
The race to fill the three Riverside library board seats up for election in April 2021 will be uncontested. Three people have filed nominating petitions, including incumbent Michael Hagins, who was appointed to the board in 2017 and then elected to a two-year term in 2019.
He will be joined on the ballot by first-time candidates Christine Long and Jane Birmingham, who is Wiaduck’s daughter.
Birmingham continues a family tradition of public service to Riverside. In addition to her mother’s years serving on the library board, Birmingham’s father, Harold J. Wiaduck Jr., was Riverside village president from 2001-09. He also served as a village trustee.
Library board races uncontested in Brookfield, North Riverside
The race for three four-year terms on the Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees next April will be uncontested after just three candidates, all incumbents, filed nominating petitions by the Dec. 21 deadline to get on the ballot for the 2021 Consolidated Election.
As a result, Carol Vaughan Kissane, who by next April will have served on the library board for 40 years, will win an 11th term as a trustee.
Also running for re-election are Jeanne McTeague and Adam Burghgraef, who seek their second four-year terms on the board. Burghgraef, prior to his election in 2017 alongside McTeague, served on the library board for two years as an appointee following the resignation of Trustee Judith Sweet in 2015.
Meanwhile, three people have filed for the three six-year terms up for election on the North Riverside Public Library District Board of Trustees.
Two of the candidates, John Mathias and Greg Gordon, are incumbents. Jeanne Ottenweller will join the library board for the first time.