|By Bob Weaver|
Conflict, confusion, hard work and new vision was part of a one and
meeting of the official board of the Minnora Community Center,
The board is divided over how to manage the center, with counter
exchanged. Issues were raised over mismanagement, failure to follow
personal misconduct and charges that some of the board members had not
notified about meetings.
Most of the conflict aired at the meeting was between President Wanda
board member Larry Cottrell, who circulated a release defining six
problems which he
wanted the board to address. David Corson, who has filed a civil suit
against MCC for
breach of contract, was not present.
Richards read a statement at the beginning of the meeting defining the
"hard work" it
has taken to get the center going and keeping it afloat financially.
presented a sixteen item agenda for the meeting, focusing on current
problems trying to pay a $1367 electric bill.
She said the center borrowed $596.00 from Lawrence Jarvis, husband of
member Rose Jarvis, to keep the insurance from defaulting, which was
paid back on
Cottrell charged that decisions were made without the consent of the
responded "There are some things we do need to go ahead with,"
referring to the
daily operation of the center.
Cottrell raised concerns about not having a Treasurer since October,
asking who had
been acting in that capacity. Richards said she was. The board then
Jordan as Treasurer, after which she asked for an immediate audit.
Bill Howley advised the board last October he would no longer be the
bookkeeper. Howley had won a four-wheeler in a raffle sponsored by the
Cottrell says "There were numerous complaints this was unfair or
rigged, and the WV
Tax department forced all the money to be returned."
Howley told The Herald all the money was returned because the center
did not have a
raffle license. "We followed the law," he said. "However, I was as the
winner, going to
take the money (about $3600) rather than the four-wheeler and donate
it to the
center. The minutes will show that." Howley said the center has been
success story and "It is a shame there are so many problems tearing it
was instrumental in helping the center get grant money.
Richards presented several financial statements to the group, stating
always used two signatures."
The Family Resource Network presented a letter to the MCC board asking
accountability of a $1000 grant for the Starting Points Project which
launched nor was a survey completed.
Richards said Holly CreelFox did a lot of the initial work on
developing the grant, but
the material was turned over to Larry Cottrell. "We were waiting on
Larry to get the
program going," she said. She said he did not produce. Richards said
some of the
problem "Was an oversight on my part," and asked how to return the
money to FRN.
Cottrell accused Richards of having secret meetings.
Conflict continued over whether or not Hershel Yost was an official
The board apparently adopted new by-laws which ask board members who
do so at the beginning of the meeting and new members be voted upon at
the end of a
Richards said Yost was not put on the board legally. Cottrell and
Richards did not want Yost on the board because Richards could not
Richards then advised she had voted for him. There was confusion about
The MCC is seeking to be declared an Emergency Disaster Center where
quarters, food and water can be provided. Richards spoke of Operation
to the center on March 24 to deliver items of need to the
She announced the Third Annual Ramp Dinner to be held on April 21st
and asked for
volunteers to dig ramps. DHS workers will be helping with the
maintenance of the
center. Richards expressed concerns about sewage pond problems, the
upgrade the water system, have additional parking and repair a leaking
Barb Lay, CEO of MHHCC, spoke with enthusiasm about having the Minnie
Health Clinic in the center, offered to include board members in a
leadership training program. She said "You worked together to make
Cottrell said the board can participate in conflict resolution
training at a conference
scheduled at Spring Heights in Roane County.
Considerable discussion followed regarding the renting of new space to
County Committee On Aging, whose program is growing and the addition
of a new
barber and beauty shop. Confusion was expressed over some of the
agreements with Richards stating she wanted to help these people be
here for the
A final item on the agenda was a "compromise proposal" by board member
Jordan, calling for President Richards to step back for six months to
allow time for
resolving problems and mediation. Cottrell said he wanted to discuss
issues on his
agenda with Richards ruling him out of order, commenting "My personal
life is none of
your business." The meeting was quickly adjourned, with all parties
public for attending.