Members of the museum’s board of directors speak out | New

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Members of the board of directors of the Museum for East Texas Culture are trying to dispel what they call the disinformation circulating in the community.

Bonnie Woolverton, chair of the board of the Museum for East Texas Culture, spoke to the Herald-Press on Thursday, October 7.

“As chairman of the board of the Museum for East Texas Culture, I want to clear up some misinformation that has recently been circulating in the media and on social media,” Woolverton said. “First, there was no official vote to close the museum. Members were asked to vote on whether to close, after this was discussed at length for some time. Two members answered yes, which was the scope of the vote. Thus, the claim “four members voted to close the museum” is simply not true. Second, no resignations were submitted and were not supposed to be. This erroneous assumption of four resignations was based on a non-existent “four members voting for the closure of the museum”.

Confusion in the community, city and city council began after Charles Steen made several accusations on social media and shared the developments regarding the museum with the Palestinian City Council at its September 13 meeting.

Steen, former museum chairman and current board member, informed the board that on September 1, Woolverton filed an email motion to permanently shut down the museum, including the distribution of items and local storage of what they could at the Anderson County Historical Society office. .

Steen said four of the board members – Woolverton, Ben Campbell, Martin Lawrence and Gary Williams, voted to close the museum and he took those votes as their voluntary resignation from the board. . Board members Steen and Garland Cotton voted to stay open and Bela Hafner did not vote. According to Steen, the board members who voted for the shutdown essentially abolished their positions implying resignations and he was accepting their resignations and a new board would be formed.

Woolverton reported that there had been no official vote for the fence; no resignation has been submitted. The four members mentioned had been duly elected and remained on the board of directors. They are, of course, the majority four on a board of seven. No one, including the minority on the board, had the power to try to gain control by establishing a “new” board.

According to Woolverton, the majority board members are ready to discuss a solution to the situation with the minority board members.

“We care deeply about the museum, as should be evident from our long-standing individual involvement and commitment to historic preservation,” said Woolverton. “This commitment, along with decades of service in other historical groups, boards and commissions, organizing events and promoting local history in various ways, should easily prove our dedication to local historic preservation. Of course, we want the best for the museum and have always been determined to maintain that goal. “

Across the fence, Steen and his new board say they hope for a long-term lease, but are actively looking for a new location for the museum.

“The new board wants to move the museum to a new location if the city refuses to grant us a long-term lease on the Reagan School,” Steen said. “After signing a lease, we will begin the process to become ADA compliant. “


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