​Community Council Welcomes New Members; Refines Project Funding Protocol

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Jan. 23 meeting, the Sewanee Community Council welcomed four new members elected in the November vote for council seats. The new members joined with the returning elected and appointed members in strategizing on implementation of the council’s Project Funding program, which allocates $10,000 to be distributed at the council’s discretion for community enhancement projects.
“All council seats are filled,” said Provost John Swallow introducing new members Richard Barrali, Cindy Potter, Flournoy Rogers and Charles Whitmer. The election marked the beginning of a new directive reallocating council seats to include four at-large seats.
In August, the council voted to continue the Project Funding program, which began in 2014 on a trial basis. The council deferred discussion on future implementation of the program until following the election.
Discussing the makeup of the selection committee which reviews projects before presenting them to the council for a vote, council representative Theresa Shackelford said, “the past committee chairs did a great job, but I think the chair should be a council member.” Shackelford, who served on the committee last year, said the six-member committee was adequate. She recommended including two non-council members, as was the case last year, but proposed the council approve the non-council representatives.
Council member David Coe asked, “Would it be advantageous to have an odd number of committee members, seven for example, to serve as a tie breaker?”
“There was a good bit of debate last year,” Shackelford said, agreeing with the suggestion.
Vice-Chancellor John McCardell proposed a seven-member committee with a council member serving as chair and including two non-council representatives.
The council concurred with the recommendation. Council member Pam Byerly volunteered to serve on the committee. Community members interested in serving on the committee should contact Swallow at <jrswallo@sewanee.edu>.
Reiterating the Project Funding Committee’s (PFC) charge, Swallow said, “The committee’s function, as last year, is to solicit proposals for civic projects that should receive funding through a portion of the municipal services fee; to evaluate those proposals; and to recommend the meritorious among those proposals to the Community Council. The PFC may, at its discretion, consider one or more rounds of proposals and recommendations during the year. An affirmative Community Council vote will be necessary to authorize funding of any project.”
Bringing the counsels attention to a rumor the American Legion Hall was for sale, council representative Louise Irwin insisted this was not the case. Quoting from a letter by long-time Sewanee resident Ina May Myers, Irwin said the Legion was chartered in 1919 by returning World War I veterans. In 1949, the Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary took the lead in raising funds for the construction of the current Legion Hall on University Avenue.
“I know the Sewanee Village Plan promoters want the building,” Irwin said, “but we need to keep the building intact and in its present location.”
While acknowledging Irwin’s concern, McCardell stressed, “It’s inappropriate for the council to insert itself in private real estate transactions. If something is offered for sale it can be bought. This is a private Legion matter.”
Frank Gladu, special assistant to the vice-chancellor, will lead a town meeting addressing the Sewanee Village Plan at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Blue Chair.
The next council meeting is March 27.