Mayor Neese establishes committee to recommend goals for Tolson Center

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Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese has established an Advisory Committee for the Tolson Community and Youth Center to identify and recommend community-driven goals and objectives that advance and fulfill its mission for the benefit of the greater Elkhart community.

Neese has selected Reverend Dannell Brown of Elkhart’s Agape Missionary Baptist Church to chair the ad hoc Committee. Carol McDowell, a local business owner and supporter of the Center, has been selected to serve as vice-chairperson.

Additional committee members include City Councilman Dwight Fish, Tara Morris, Reverend Jean Mayes, Delia Vazquez, Arvis Dawson, Bob Woods, Ron Davis, Charles Grodnik and Sergio Ortiz. All members of the Tolson Committee reside within the Elkhart city limits and represent a cross-section of its residents.

“The Tolson Advisory Committee is about charting a positive path forward,” Neese said. “Cooperation and tangible results will be of the utmost importance. Members will be expected to leave personal and political agendas at the door in order to do what’s best for Elkhart. Through the efforts of this Committee, we have an opportunity to clarify the mission of the Tolson Center and to refocus our efforts on preserving its role in our community for many years to come.”

Over the course of several meetings, the Mayor has asked the Committee to consider the following:

  • What are the fundamental services of the Tolson Community and Youth Center?
  • How should the facility be used to provide each of the identified services?
  • What programming is needed to deliver each of the fundamental services?
  • What staffing is needed to manage the facility and facilitate programming?
  • What funding is needed to support staff and programming?

The Committee will provide recommendations to the Mayor on each of these action items and will then make a formal presentation to the Elkhart City Council.

The Committee’s first meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 21 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend this meeting which will be held in the Tolson Center education room, located at 1320 Benham Ave. Prior to the meeting, Mayor Neese has invited committee members to tour the Tolson Center with Parks Superintendent Clyde Riley and learn more about the history of the facility.

The Committee will provide recommendations to the Mayor on each of the action items and will then make a formal presentation to the Elkhart City Council.

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