The City Council today approved a hearing on BPL finances to rein in what at-large City Councilor Steve Murphy called an apparent "shadow government" overseeing Boston libraries
Murphy and Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) requested the hearing after Murphy read that BPL President Amy Ryan was routinely getting $20,000 bonuses atop her six-figure salary - even back in 2010, when Mayor Menino proposed shutting several branch libraries and BPL workers agreed to give up raises to help balance library books.
Murphy said the council, which must approve city spending, never approved bonuses and rejected arguments by library officials that Ryan deserved them. "Who elected you, Mr. Library Chair?" he asked. "They're not General Motors and they're not Wall Street."
Linehan said he could not understand why Ryan was getting the bonuses even at the height of a 2010 library budget crisis, during which Mayor Menino was looking to close several branches and librarians were agreeing to forego negotiated raises to try to help keep the libraries open.