A United Way official will join the Spokane Public Library Board of Trustees in time to decide how to deal with significant budget cuts proposed by Mayor Mary Verner.
The Spokane City Council on Tuesday unanimously appointed Janice Marich, the vice president of community relations for Spokane County United Way, to the city’s library board for a five-year term.
Marich, 62, said she is open to “all the options” for solving the budget problem.
“What’s really important to me is keeping the resources available to as many people as possible,” she said.
The five-member board sets library policy and determines how to spend money set aside for libraries by the City Council.
Marich replaces Cheryl Fleming, whose term expired in March.
Although library use continues to increase, Verner announced last month she would cut the library budget by twice the 2.85 percent cut she proposed in most city departments.
Library officials say that could mean one neighborhood branch may have to close. Trustees have been reluctant to close branches when faced with shortfalls and have instead cut hours at all six locations.
Before joining United Way, Marich was vice president of community relations for Empire Health Services, which used to own Deaconess Medical Center.
City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said Marich was one of seven applicants for the position.