Cain Center Steering Committee meets together at The Texan

Steve Grant speaks to the Cain Center Steering Committee Thursday while Public Relations Chairwoman Darlene Forshage looks on.

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The symbolism was hard to miss as Steve Grant stood in front of the group Thursday night.

Folks munched on food provided by the Athens High School culinary program while Grant spoke through a sound system furnished by Trinity Valley Community College in The Texan, which was provided by the City.

It was the first joint meeting of the Cain Center Steering Committee and it happened through the combined effort of multiple individuals and entities, just like the ultimate work of the group will include a chorus of voices.

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Congressman Lance Gooden Appointed to House Financial Services Committee

Congressman Lance Gooden

“I am honored to receive this appointment from party leaders and I am eager for the opportunity to work with my Republican colleagues on the committee.” — Congressman Gooden

Press release

This week Republican leaders appointed Congressman Lance Gooden to the House Financial Services Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over the housing and financial services sectors of the economy, including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities.

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Referendum on Cain Center to be held in May

The City keeps the Certificates of Obligation money in support of the Steering Committee’s work of developing a plan for fixing and running the Cain Center. In May, voters will get the chance to say if they approve.

File photo

(ABOVE: Listen to our podcast on this issue with Mayor Monte Montgomery and Councilman Ed McCain.)

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

Call it a compromise.

The Athens City Council Monday evening approved conducting a citizen’s referendum on using Certificates of Obligation money for the Cain Center project.

Monday’s action — along with a decision last month to create a public steering committee — establishes a three-part procedure for moving the Cain Center rehabilitation toward a conclusion. Those parts are:

— The Cain Center steering committee established last month will continue its work.

— The City of Athens will keep for now the $5.33 million in Certificates of Obiligation currently earmarked for the Cain Center.


— Citizens will get a chance to vote on spending the money for the Cain Center.

Like most compromises, this one gives everyone a little bit of what they want and nobody everything they want, but it does establishes a definitive path forward.

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Athens Council Roundup: Councilman Gross wants citizens to vote on Cain Center

Councilman Robert Gross

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens City Council met in a regular session Monday night. Here are my takeaways from the crowded confines of the Council Chambers of the City Hall Annex and police station.

— Councilman Gross wants the public to vote on the Cain Center issue.

In a rare move, City Councilman Robert Gross left the dais and went to the podium during the time set aside for citizen comments to speak about the Cain Center. As he read from prepared notes, he continually came back to the idea of allowing the public to vote on a potential bond issue.

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City of Athens welcomes new Planning and Development Services Director Audrey Sloan

Audrey Sloan

Press release

The City of Athens is proud to announce the recent hire of Audrey Sloan as the City’s new Director of Development Services. Ms. Sloan joined the City of Athens team just a couple of weeks ago after working for seven years as the Planning and Zoning Manager for the City of Corsicana. Ms. Sloan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Architecture from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Sloan joins the City with a great amount of knowledge and experience for the role and holds a variety of professional certifications, including her license as a Residential Plans Examiner with the International Code Council.

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