The Mason County Commissioners' Court has begun the search to replace Carolyn Nixon as librarian at the M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library after she tendered her resignation from the position during the regular meeting on October 25th.
During that meeting, Ms. Nixon, along with several representatives of the library, approached the Court about the bequest left by Richard P. Eckert for the library. The point of contention between the two groups focussed on the intent of the bequest and how the money would be spent.
Ms. Nixon and the representatives of the library told the Court that they understood that the money was to be used only for expansion or modification of the library, not for repairs, salaries or normal expenses. Judge Bearden read from the will of Mr. Eckert, and noted that it did not make any such specific request, only that it was to go to the Mason County Library.
Ms. Nixon expressed her concern that, if the county had budgetary problems later, the money might be used to pay for utilities, repair air conditioning units, etc., and that she did not feel that had been Mr. Eckert's intent. Judge Bearden again noted that the Court was in possession of no documentation expressing such a specific request for the money (amounting to approximately $17,500 per year). He also reassured Ms. Nixon that the funds had been placed into the budget with specific use designated for the library; but, no expenses had been budgeted for those funds, so he did not see a problem.
Ms. Nixon worried that future courts might decide differently, and asked that the Court make that designation to protect the funds. Judge Bearden and the other members of the Court discussed their feeling that there was no need to make such a restrictive agreement, as they had already met the spirit of the will, as far as their documentation was concerned. When Ms. Nixon and the library representatives persisted in their desire to see the funds "protected" in some way, the Court finally asked Ms. Nixon, "Do you not trust us?" Ms. Nixon responded that she felt concern that the funds would not go where they had been requested, and finally agreed that she did not trust the Court to maintain the agreement. She then told the Court that, because of that lack of trust, she felt it necessary to submit her resignation.
The County began advertising for a librarian last week, and held a special meeting on November 4 to discuss the timeline they had to make that decision.
Ms. Nixon was honored with a library open house for her service by the library support organzations on November 9th.