Following a personal emergency, East Lake library Director Patricia Perez has taken an unpaid leave of absence. The Palm Harbor Community Services Agency board named Palm Harbor Library Director Gene Coppola as the temporary acting director April 17 until her return.
However, Coppola suggested May 15 that a library employee be designated to oversee daily operations, naming circulation supervisor Colleen Davis to the role.
“I cannot be there on a day-to-day basis to help the library,” he said.
The precedent for paying that designated employee a bonus for their extra responsibilities was established when Coppola recently took a medical leave of absence. He suggested an extra $75 per week be paid to Davis, effective retroactively on May 1.
Agency administrative coordinator Mary Mason said the extra pay would be treated as a bonus, not a temporary pay increase. The funds to pay for the bonus would be covered within Perez’s unpaid salary.
The board unanimously supported the decision.
Coppola also said he would be working with the East Lake library’s employees and advisory board to begin drafting a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Though funding for all Pinellas libraries is up in the air pending decisions regarding Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, Coppola said he is due to give a presentation to the county on both libraries’ budgets on June 6.