Angry Racine Library Director Levels Charges, Announces Resignation, During City Council Meeting

Jan. 18, 2023 4p

(WGTD)---The distraught director of the Racine Public Library announced her resignation during a contentious debate over library employee salaries at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

At issue was a city council resolution urging the library board to grant raises. The board apparently had balked because of uncertainty on whether those raises could be sustained in the long term.

Angela Zimmerman apparently had already decided to quit, and wasn’t planning on attending the council meeting, but rushed over in order to respond to questions from some council members

Zimmerman alleged that she'd been treated unfairly. "The library has done amazing things in the past two years but what has the last 12 months in regards to all of this behind the scenes blackmailing, threatening and bullying that you don't even see that's happening from the city hall is ridiculous," she said. "It's just not worth it."

Zimmerman never did say what she meant with her allegations of blackmail and bullying.

Earlier in the meeting, several library employees lobbied for the raises, which already had been approved by the city council during last year’s budget deliberations but were not signed off on by either Zimmerman or the library board. One employee voiced open hostility toward Zimmerman.

Council member and library board president Melissa Kaprelian voiced support for Zimmerman.

Members of the semi-independent library board are appointed by the mayor and county executive. The city acts as the library’s fiscal agent, although some funding also comes from the county.

A non-binding resolution urging the board to grant the raises was approved by the council Tuesday night on a vote of 8 to 5 with one abstention.

Zimmerman has been on the job for two years, after having replaced long-time library director Jessica MacPhail.

MacPhail was a regular guest on WGTD. Zimmerman never made it on the radio as a result of a series of scheduling issues and cancelations.