Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Former state legislator to lead auditorium group

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 5/23/2014

The newly formed Ottawa Municipal Auditorium Advisory Board selected its officers during an organizational meeting Tuesday.

Tony Brown was selected to chair the advisory board by his fellow board members. The board also appointed John White vice chair and Allen Campbell secretary. Joining Brown, White and Campbell on the board are Paul Bean, Rob Hale, Tiffany Evans and Jeanne Stroh.

The newly formed Ottawa Municipal Auditorium Advisory Board selected its officers during an organizational meeting Tuesday.

Tony Brown was selected to chair the advisory board by his fellow board members. The board also appointed John White vice chair and Allen Campbell secretary. Joining Brown, White and Campbell on the board are Paul Bean, Rob Hale, Tiffany Evans and Jeanne Stroh.

The advisory board is charged with helping establish a vision for future use of the auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St., Ottawa, to make the 1921 landmark venue a more integral part of the community. The city commission voted unanimously Jan. 8 to establish the seven-member board, with at least five members required to reside within the city limits. Board members Evans and Brown reside outside the city limits.

Brown is assistant dean for outreach and workforce development at Neosho County Community College’s Ottawa campus, 900 E. Logan St., and also is involved in the arts in Baldwin City where he resides. He previously served as a Kansas state representative in the House, as well as a 20-year psychology instructor at Baker University in Baldwin City.

The move to establish an advisory board came about after numerous discussions in the past few months among city commissioners and Richard Nienstedt, city manager, regarding the auditorium’s future. OMA is run as a city entity, and is funded through local tax dollars. OMA’s budget this year is $234,449, up from $202,128 allocated for the auditorium in 2013.

The advisory board will report directly to the city commission. Members serve on a voluntary basis.

The board’s next meeting is set for 11:30 a.m. June 17 in the Ottawa City Commission chambers at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa. The board plans to meet 11:30 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.

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