(03/11/2001)
By Bob Weaver

The Minnora Community Center is a great success story. The community people who had the vision, devoting thousands of volunteer hours to the project, should be commended. It has been a wonderful service for southern Calhoun, heavily supported by dozens of groups, county government, businesses and individuals.

Just consider the Center has medical services from Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center, a quickly expanding senior citizens nutrition program from the Calhoun County Committee On Aging and the ambulance sub-station from Calhoun EMS.

Sheriff Allen Parsons has brought law enforcement to the area with a sub-station manned by a Deputy Ron Bandy and there is a computer training center for displaced Kellwood workers, not to forget a new barber and beauty shop, library, recreation and entertainment and dozens of new ideas on the burner.

It is frustrating to watch the personality battles push the Center to the brink of collapse, where everyone loses, most importantly the citizens of Washington and Lee Districts. If the Center falls apart, efforts to re-invent it will not occur for many years.

The members of the Minnora Community Center board and its dissenting personalities should enter a conflict resolution or mediation program to settle their differences, immediately. The dissent has afflicted board meetings for two years, often ending in shouting matches and threats of lawsuits.

This kind of action is necessary when dissenting parties are unable to move ahead and professionally fulfill their obligations as volunteers, certain they are doing the right thing. Many of the current shakers and movers have invested time and energy, often beyond the call of duty. It is difficult for them to see the larger picture - the survival of this worthwhile project.

If settling their differences is not an option, maybe they should step aside and allow some new faces to manage the center. Hopefully, some citizens would come forward.

Southern Calhoun native and writer Jed Purdy, whose family ruffled community feathers with their beliefs against school consolidation, said in his book "For Common Things," relating to public life:

"It begins with the recognition that, contrary to the fantasy of the moment, public life and public institutions can never be obsolete. Our private lives - our work, our families, our circles of friends - are pervasively affected by things that can never be private: law and political institutions, economics and culture. "

"We ignore these essentially public matters at the risk of misunderstanding our own well-being. And that misunderstanding invites us to neglect public concerns in ways that impoverish the public realm and, in time, erode the underpinnings of good private lives..."

"We might conclude that public life continues to matter, not because it changes us fundamentally, but because it is our only way of contending with tasks that we may never complete but cannot permit ourselves to neglect..."

In this affray, we are hopeful reason and public good rises above the defects of our characters and our private wars.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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