By Rich Pollack
Yoga instructors and others teaching classes at the Highland Beach Pubic Library will now be designated as independent contractors and required to pay a small monthly fee to use the facility.
Under a new policy approved at the Dec. 1 town commission meeting, those teaching classes at the library will be permitted to set their own class fees and be responsible for collecting those fees.
Instructors will now pay the town $10 a month for usage of a small room at the library and $20 for usage of a larger room.
They will also be required to enter into an independent contractor agreement, which will make it possible for the town to complete background checks and ensure that instructors have the necessary insurance.
“The new policy clearly defines expectations on both parts,” said Interim Library Director Suzy Hayes.
The policy prohibits instructors from using town equipment such as computers and copy machines and requires all materials used to promote classes to be approved by the town.
“This is long overdue,” said Commissioner Rhoda Zelniker. “Many years overdue.”
Town officials asked for the policy to be developed after it was determined that instructors of some programs at the library were collecting class fees but were not required to pay the town anything to use the facility. Also, no background checks or proof of insurance had been required in the past.
“We don’t want the town to be inadvertent employers,” said town attorney Glen Torcivia. “We’re simply renting the facility to independent contractors.”
The new policy also requires anyone who presents at a library program — but who is not paid — to complete a volunteer program presenter application.
The library staff is permitted to register participants and registration will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis with town residents given a priority.