Cleaners Bring Soap Into Library Picture
A husband and wife who are employed to do the cleaning
for the Farmingdale Public Library and who Trustee Carl
E. Gorton had labeled as ' taking Farmingdale to the cleaners'
appeared at Tuesday night's special Library Board of
Trustees meeting and charged Gorton with trying to sell high
priced soap to the library about a year ago.
In separate typewritten statements which Library Board
President Robert M. Callahan read, Edward Serrano and his
wife Paula, spelled out a series of incidents involving Gorton.
Gorton had stopped s e r v i c e s on Route 110 to
ask him whether he would like to buy some liquid soap.
( The Serranos head a business firm called Liberty Maintenance
and at a previous library board meeting, Gorton questioned
whether the pair should be paid as contractors or as
library employees). The statement told how Gorton had followed
Serrano to the South Farmingdale Library branch and
demonstrated the soap on a spot on the floor. " Gorton said to
me that he didn't like Mr. Dow, the library director, that he
had some socialist books in the library and that soon he will
take over.. . So I smile and I ask how much would it be at five
gallon pail but he said he didn't know exactly, but he could
figure out the bottles he had were $ 3 and a five gallon pail
was $ 36, he said. I told him it is too much money. Then he
asked me who pays for the equipment. I said the library does.
So he said what do you care then. I smiled again because I
knew it was a ridiculous price for soap.' J
Serrano then told of a later incident when Gorton came to the
South Farmingdale branch and offered him a piece of pizza and
asked whether he had talked with Mr. Dow about ordering the
The Serranos came to Monday's meeting and asked to speak
because Gorton has made us dishonest to the whole community.
He said that we are over paid and that the community of Farm-
During the executive session
Gorton had declined to go over
the personnel records of Mrs.
Hortensia Soroyan, Kenneth Uva
and David Senek as earlier requested
" upon advice of his legal
counsel" since he is involved
in two trials now pending. Gorton
is scheduled to go on trial on
October 10 on a charge of assaulting
Mrs. Stoyan and on trial
on " Thursday, October 5 on the
charge of " petty larceny."
Earlier in the evening the library
board voted to recognize
the Civil Service Employees Association
as the official bargaining
agent for the staff, pending
receipt of signed statements of
affirmation of the no s t r i ke
clause. A Mr. Arthur Gray, an
attorney for the CSEA of Nassau
County was present. ( According
to Gray only two or three
other Nassau County libraries
are affiliated with the CSEA at
present, but the CSEA are working
to get other library staff
members in the association).
Board President Callahan had
pointed out to the board that according
to Chapter 392 of the
Education law, the right of staff
members to organize was absolute.
Trustee Gorton had asked
library director Orrin B. Dow
whether he had made a survey of
neighboring libraries regarding
employee benefits in relation to
Farmingdale. Dow said that the
information was readily available.
Gorton abstained in the
After the Serrano's statements
had been read, Callahan said
that no action would be taken over
the charges, and that Gorton
should have an opportunity to
In other business before the
board, library director Dow
asked the board to consider hiring
the reading consultant for two
ten week programs of remedial
reading at $ 10 an hour. He
said that 50 hours were involved.
Trustee Dr. Meyerstein
said that he saw benefit in the
summer program, but said that
he was still not convinced that a
library is the place to teach
reading. He said that Dr. Philip
Acinapuro of the Farmingdale
School system wasn't 100% for the
program. Dow said that Dr.
Acinapuro was impressed with
the way the library involved the
parents in the program, which
the school could not do. Trustee
Paul Tilford asked whether a follow
up study had been made to
ascertain the affect of the pro-ingdale
has been taken by us. " Whenthe main library was being
remodeled, we came day and night and we also brought in
another lady to clean up the mess, and who paid her? We did.
When a man crashed his car inside the library we stayed until
3 in the morning to clean. We like to thank Mr. Gorton for
giving us such titles as being the only Puerto Ricans to have
been overpaid in the U. S. A...." " Why does he have to get me
mixed up with all this ridiculous fighting. Maybe it is because
I didn't buy soap from him like he wanted me."
Gorton then asked the couple if they were willing to stand
behind all these statements in court. They replied in the affirmative.
Later in executive session Gorton answered the charges.
He conceded that he had tried to sell the soap, but said that he
was not a salesman, but his brother is a distributor for a
commercial soap firm. ( The incidents allegedly took place
about a year ago prior to Gorton's election as trustee. He won
the election in May and became a trustee in July). Gorton said
that it was factual about stopping Serrano on Route 110. Gorton
said that he hadn't mentioned other cleaning equipment. He
said that at that time he did not know that Serrano worked for
the library. His truck bore the name of ' Liberty Maintenance.'
Gorton said it was essentially true about his statement
of meeting him at the South Farmingdale branch library. He
said that Serrano's statement about what he had said about Dow
was a " complete lie." On the basis of $ 3 a bottle, Gorton stated
that he said the soap couldn't be more than $ 36, and that a
quantity price would be cheaper. He said that Serrano's statement,
" What do you care then" was inaccurate.
Trustee Dr. Albert Meyerstein asked Gorton whether he had
been serious at a previous meeting when he offered his wife's
services to clean the library since the Serrano's were making
so much money. Gorton said that had been sarcastic.
" A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES
BEGINS WITH BUT A SINGLE STEP"
Carl E. Gorton
gram on the reading improvement
of the summer participants.
Mrs. Stoyan, who had been involved
in the program said that it
was hard to measure. Gorton
said that he had expressed his
opinion earlier in the summer,
but now that we have funds available
we can consider whether we
can undertake social agency or
school functions since it benefits
only a few and is not of interest
to the community as a whole
Mrs. Stoyan pointed out that in
comparison to the Head Start
program in Farmingdale where
• Federal government funds were
involved, the library program
was inexpensive. Gorton said that
he had attempted to obtain information
regarding the summer
remedial program and that in so
doing had resulted in his assault
charge. Gorton said " we
may or may not have a program of
value, but until we know continued
expenditures become highly
suspect as to the value to the
community. The Board then
agreed to drop the matter of the
remedial program decision to a
future board meeting when a more
detailed survey of the results of
the summer program could be
On the matter of employee-trustee
said, " My attempts to obtain
information from the library director
resulted in an inability to
obtain information. I think it
should be the right of a trustee
to obtain information from other
Board President Callahan said
in his view, " Trustees should
deal primarily with the director.
A trustee may also converse with
the staff, using common sense on
critical issues you would only
deal with the director." Gorton
said that he disagreed. " We
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Farmingdale OBSERVER Thursday, October 5, 1967 Page 3
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