The journey to the Earl Scruggs Center – Series Pts 1 and 2

The Journey to the Earl Scruggs Center- Pt 2

Renagade Committee Members Steal Jim Allen’s Dream And Run With It

Jim Allen said he wrote a lengthy letter to the County Commissioners explaining that it was not his desire to name the building for one person nor to devote the whole courthouse to be centered around Earl Scruggs. He told the Commissioners it was not a good idea to do this and he could not be a part of this group who wanted to have the Courthouse for an Earl Scruggs museum and to honor Don Gibson separately.

The Cleveland County Historical Museum still had a lease on the courthouse with Jim Allen as the agent. And the historical artifacts that had been given unconditionally to the museum, were still inside the courthouse, awaiting renovations to the building, so that it could be reopened

The County Commissioners ignored the Cleveland County Historical Museum’s lease agreement of the courthouse and the museum’s ownership of the artifacts. They abandoned Jim Allen’s plans for the Southern Music Heritage Museum that they had supported both publicly and financially, and threw their support to the rogue members of Jim’s committee, which included County Manager David Dear, Mayor Ted Alexander, Uptown Shelby Association Director Chandler Poole, Earl Scruggs’ nephew J.T. Scruggs, and Chamber of Commerce Board Member and Historic Preservation Board Member Brownie Plaster.

This spinoff group got busy garnering community support for their plans. County Manager David Dear asked Greg Traywick, Extension Director of the NC Cooperative Extension’s Cleveland County Center to put together a Task Force whose strategic plan was to revitalize uptown Shelby and to look closely at the future use of the Cleveland County historic courthouse and address the preservation of the Cleveland County Historical Museum’s artifacts. Greg took suggestions from the city and county governments of whom to invite to be the members of the Task Force. Of the 42 members chosen, Jim Allen was not included.

Greg secured Dr. David Jenkins of NC State University’s Professional and Organizational Development unit to lead the group. They met for three days in the Hall of Fame Room of the closed Cleveland County Historical Museum sitting at tables and chairs placed among the artifacts.

These are the 42 members of the Task Force:
David Dear, County Manager
Rick Howell, City Manager
Ted Alexander, Mayor of Shelby
Mary Accor, County Commissioner
Chandler Poole, Uptown Shelby Association Director
J.T. Scruggs, Earl Scruggs’ nephew
Brownie Plaster, Chamber Board and Historic Preservation Board Member
Adelaide Craver, Chamber 20/20 Chairman

Janet Berry Tom Bridges Doug Brown
Terry Brown Mickey Crowell Tommy Forney
Stuart Gilbert Byron Gragg Jay Gragg
Sherry Grenier Barry Hambright Luke Harkey
Robin Hendrick Kitty Hoyle Sandra Keeter
Shannon Kennedy Steve Leatherwood Eugene LeGrand
Leon Leonhardt Dr. Becky Love Roger Martin
Glenda Miller Shearra Miller Jack Palmer
Mark Patterson David Royster Sally Royster
Vicki Rudasill John Schweppe Bob Still
Greg Tillman Greg Traywick David White
Millie Arey Wood

Greg Traywick wrote an article for The Star on March 19, 2006 about the three day meeting of the Task Force. (show). He said he would highlight their progress in future editions of The Star. But this was the only article he wrote, because surprise, Destination Cleveland County suddenly appeared. DCC Chairwoman Brownie Plaster publicly has proclaimed many times that Destination Cleveland County was born in May 2006 out of this Task Force.

June came and Mayor Ted Alexander and a group of 18 people from the Chamber, including Board Member Brownie Plaster, piled into cars and went to Raleigh to discuss economic issues with Lt. Governor Bev Perdue and Department of Commerce Secretary Jim Fain.