By JOHN T. WARD
Chmiel, right, tells redbankgreen she was called to a meeting with borough Administrator Stanley Sickels and two members of the library’s board late last Friday afternoon and given a choice of resigning or being fired. She chose to resign, she said.
Chmiel referred questions about the reasons for her ouster to members of the library board, saying only that she was told she “was not respectful enough and deferential enough” to board members.
In response to a voicemail request for comment, board president Brigid MCarthy sent redbankgreen this prepared statement by email:
Mary Faith Chmiel submitted a letter of resignation to the Library Board of Trustees last Friday. The library director’s position is a yearly appointment. The Board will begin a search for a new Director. Meanwhile the Library will have an interim director on staff.
Ms Chmiel did a good job in many areas but we were not on the same page on operational procedures.
The Board and the Staff wish her well.
In response to a question about when the directorship became a yearly event, McCarthy said, “It was explained to me that the position has always been on a yearly basis. The Director is appointed or reappointed for the January organizational meeting.”
Sickels and Mayor Pasquale Menna could not be reached for comment Monday.
Chmiel said she “can’t say I was totally surprised” by the ouster, though she characterized it as a “disservice” to the library’s 12-person staff and the community.
“My brief was to get more people into the building, improve staff morale, improve the collections and improve circulation,” she said. “I did all that.”
Chmiel, 58, of Tinton Falls, was hired last November to replace longtime director Deborah Griffin-Sadel, who was removed under never-explained circumstances 11 months earlier.
Chmiel characterized the board as “the withholding mother, the mother who would never be pleased.”
Before becoming a librarian, Chmiel owned Twice Sold Tales, a used bookstore that was housed in what’s now a Starbucks, at the corner of Broad Street and White streets, from 1983 to 1995.