The nine-member commission that sets policy for Dearborn’s extensive system of libraries will be one less at the end of this year.
Candyce Abbatt, who has served on the Library Commission since 1997, announced at the commission’s monthly meeting on Oct. 12 that she would be resigning. Abbatt made the announcement because the news that she and her husband, Bill Abbatt, would be moving out of the city.
“I wasn’t going to say anything, but I want to say I will be resigning,” she told the commissioners and library administrators present at the meeting.
“Bill and I are moving to Franklin, but I’ll be here until December.”
The commission is made up of nine community members that, according to city policy, are appointed by the sitting mayor. The policy dictates that to be eligible to sit on boards and commissions, a person must be a Dearborn resident.
Maryanne Bartles, the director of the Dearborn Centennial Library, said that once Abbatt submits a resignation letter, Mayor Jack O’Reilly will begin the search for a new commissioner, who would then be appointed at his sole discretion.
The Library Commission is not one of Dearborn’s high-profile commissions, but during the past two years, its members have faced tough decisions.
The first would be the 2011 closing of the Snow Branch, which was forced due to a difficult fiscal scenario and the need to re-align resources. Currently, the library is engaged in a discussion about how to encourage lawmakers to put libraries on a list of public places that are exceptions from the state’s open carry firearms provisions.
Abbatt, a family law attorney for the firm Fried Saperstein Abbatt PC, has worked at the Southfield-based firm for more than 30 years. She was first licensed to practice law in 1983, and has written in the media about family law topics such as divorce.
Her move to Franklin was motivated by the desire to be closer to work. “The house is 1.8 miles away from work,” she said. “I’m going to miss [living in] Dearborn, but I’m not going to miss the Southfield Freeway.”