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Stumbling block for Hall of Fame?

A delegation representing the organizers of the new Grady County Sports Hall of Fame petitioned the county commission Tuesday to house the new hall of fame on the walls of the lower level of the courthouse, but commissioners were divided in their response.
Cairo Mayor Richard VanLandingham, chairman of the hall of fame board of directors, along with board members R.B. Gainous, Harold Walker, Arthur Anderson, and Clifton Richard made the push for the county’s OK to house the hall of fame at the courthouse.
“In talking with people from neighboring communities who have established halls of fame we kept hearing over and over you have to have an ideal spot. This courthouse is an ideal spot because it represents all of Grady County not just Cairo,” VanLandingham said.
He noted that athletes likely to be inducted into the hall of fame were students of not only Cairo High School but Whigham High School and Washington Consolidated High School.
The mayor promised not to “fill up the wall space,” and said the number of inductees would be kept to a minimum after this initial year.
<$>Officials plan to celebrate the naming of the first inductees at a ceremony on March 8, 2009.
<$>Commissioner Bobby Burns reminded the delegation Tuesday of a vote by a previous board of commissioners not to name any portion of a building, room or building itself in honor or memory of any particular individual.
<$>“Other people than those who will be honored in the sports hall of fame have made significant contributions to this county and they should be recognized too,” Burns said. He warned that if the commission opened the courthouse for such a memorial then others would seek similar treatment.
“It is only my opinion and I do not speak for the board, but I believe the Roddenbery Library would be a better place to have it than the courthouse,” Burns added.
Commissioner Charles Norton agreed and noted that the courthouse is only open 40 hours a week and not on weekends as opposed to the library which is routinely open on Saturdays.
Norton also championed the idea of maintaining the only memorials in the courthouse to that of fallen service men and women.
“Gentlemen, those folks were not all athletes, but they gave their whole life for this county and this country. I think they should be the only ones honored on the walls of the courthouse,” Norton said.
Mayor VanLandingham noted he agreed with what the two commissioners were saying, but he took objection to the library being better suited as the home of the hall of fame.
The mayor said there was not any one given space in the library large enough to devote to the hall of fame.
Chairman Elwyn Childs told members of the delegation he does not have any problem to the idea, but requested time to discuss the request with commissioners and deliberate on the matter.
VanLandingham agreed that would be a good idea, but requested a decision prior to the hall of fame’s next board meeting which falls in early November.
Commissioners instructed County Administrator Rusty Moye to include the subject on the commission’s upcoming workshop agenda. The commissioners will meet next Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. to not only discuss the request from the sports hall of fame, but also proposed revisions to the county’s subdivision regulations.

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