Tucker Commission looking for residents to serve

By Beth Christian Broschart

Staff Writer

The Tucker County Commission will begin accepting letters of interest from residents interested in serving on the newly formed Tucker County Culture District Authority Board.

“About a year and a half ago, folks met and had a dinner-time conversation about the growing number of artists, artisans and patrons of the performing arts that were not just settling in Tucker County, but were visiting Tucker County,” Commissioner Diane Hinkle said.

“So they put together a strategic plan to seek legislation that would empower, enhance and promote Tucker County as a center for the cultural arts,” Hinkle said. “As a result of those efforts, and with the help of Sen. Bob Williams, D-Taylor, who sponsored the bill, and Sen. David Sypolt, R-Preston, who co-sponsored the bill, and the support of Delegate Randy Smith, R-Preston, and Delegate Mary Poling, D-Barbour, Senate Bill 561 passed in April and it established the Tucker County Cultural District Authority.

Hinkle said the authority’s goal is “the creation of additional employment and investment opportunities.”

The final decision on who will serve on the authority will not come from the commissioners.

“The authority board is to consist of seven members: all must be citizens and residents of Tucker County, and must have a demonstrated interest in cultural tourism,” Hinkle said.

The Tucker County Commission is now seeking letters of interest from Tucker residents and citizens who would like to be considered for appointment to this board. Commissioners will recommend the board members to the governor, who will actually appoint that board.

“We are looking for people not only with a background in performing and creative arts, but people who have an interest in event planning, people who have a strong background in business, people who have demonstrated leadership,” Hinkle said.

“This is a real opportunity for this county to become a template for other counties who wish to do something similar,” she said.

Hinkle said commissioners will advertise for two weeks for letters of interest.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting:

– Dustin Luzier, director of the Tucker County Community Corrections program, reported that May was the busiest month in 2013. There were 21 offenders in the program accounting for 450.5 community service hours. Luzier said the program is offering new classes, and they must be evidence-based. The programs will include training in life skills, drug rehabilitation, stress management, where to look for jobs and how to balance a checkbook. Currently, there are two enrollees that are working toward their GED.

– Commissioners voted to give full support to the Timberline Motorcycle Relay to set up a tent and serve beer during the event, slated for Aug. 22-25. Proceeds from the event go to the Pilot Dog Program, that trains dogs for the blind.

– On Tuesday, commissioners interviewed youth for the Summer Youth Program.

“This is something I enjoy each year,” said Rosenau. “This was their first interview. So when they go to their next interview, as an adult, hopefully, they have some experience and they won’t be as nervous. I am proud of the kids that came.”

“They were just outstanding adults,” said Commissioner Lowell Moore. “I was so impressed with them.”

Those hired for the eight-week program include Stephanie Betler, Brandon Carr, Corey Kelley, Mitchell Mason, Payden Michael, Ian Nichols, Zachary Parsons and Austin Waugaman.

The next meeting of the Tucker County Commission is slated for 6 p.m. June 26 in the Tucker County Courthouse Courtroom.