Sparks fly between Co. Commissioners over college donation

A large donation to LeMoyne-Owen College has several Shelby County Commissioners saying wait a minute.

The controversy moved from the committee meeting into the full commission. Commissioners went toe-to-toe over the vote for the $500,000 donation.

The Shelby County Commission meeting began with sparks between Commissioner James Harvey and Chairman Joe Ford.

Harvey wanted to know why Ford took his proposal off the agenda. He proposed that Shelby County commit to an annual donation of $500,000 to LeMoyne Owen College for the next three years.

Earlier in the day, the Budget Committee had passed a whittled down version of Harvey's proposal; a one-time donation instead of the three year committment.

But, then it got put on hold in the full meeting. And Commissioners Wyatt Bunker and Diedre Malone had strong opinions about it.

"I felt Santa Claus had come to our budget committee meeting and they were just handing out money right and left," said Bunker.

Malone added, "The state is ready to make their committment, the city council has made their committment, but the state wont release their funds until we do."

The commission then voted if they should discuss the proposal during this meeting.

Instead, they decided to defer it another two weeks for more discussion. The commission has a special Budget Committee meeting next week.

They may add this hot issue to that agenda.


to email Kontji Anthony.