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Great Neck board fires library director in unanimous vote

The Great Neck Library board has fired library director Kathy Giotsas, who worked at the system for nearly two years.

In a five-minute meeting on Monday, the library board voted 6-0 to terminate Giotsas and install Tracy Geiser as acting director, at a salary of $95,000 with a $15,000 stipend.

Library board officials declined to comment on the reasons behind the termination. Library counsel Peter M. Fishbein of Mineola-based Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan said the “library does not comment on personnel matters.”

Giotsas was hired in August 2015 at a salary of $150,000, with no raises over her tenure, said library board president Bob Schaufeld. Under her unfulfilled three-year contract, the library board was required to give Giotsas a six-month severance package of about $75,000, Schaufeld said.

Geiser was hired last May to be the library’s assistant director, at a salary of $90,000. Prior to her recent promotion, the board voted unanimously 7-0 at an April 25 meeting to give her a $5,000 raise and a $5,000 bonus.

Geiser’s $15,000 annual stipend will be paid out in biweekly installments and is not a lump-sum bonus, Schaufeld said.

“The purpose of the stipend is so that if we hire somebody other than acting director, she would go back to her prior position at her prior salary,” Schaufeld added. “It’s only for as long as she is serving as the acting director.”

Geiser will oversee a library with four branches, a service area of more than 44,000 people and a proposed budget of $9.8 million for 2018.

The board is now assembling a 15-member committee composed of residents, library staff and trustees to search for a new library director. The board has yet to have discussions about the search’s scope, Schaufeld said.

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