‘Mr. Mel­ton would be proud’

West Ch­ester Bor­ough, Mel­ton Cen­ter to work to­gether

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter

The Mel­ton Cen­ter’s board of di­rec­tors Tues­day night unan­i­mously voted to ap­prove an agree­ment be­tween the bor­ough and cen­ter in hopes to strengthen com­mu­nity bonds.

The agree­ment, ap­proved in a 16-0 vote, will al­low for the bor­ough and the cen­ter to share re­sources and co­or­di­nate events to­gether.

“Mr. Mel­ton would be proud,” said Ken Win­ston, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the cen­ter. “I think this is some­thing that he wanted.”

The Mel­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­ter was named af­ter Charles A. Mel­ton for his ded­i­ca­tion to the African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity. In recog­ni­tion of his ef­forts, the Mel­ton cen­ter was named as such on Aug. 14, 2004.

Coun­cil­woman Diane LeBold said that her, along

with Jean New­some and Alice Thomas of the Mel­ton Cen­ter’s board of di­rec­tors, be­gan dis­cussing po­ten­tial ways to work to­gether last spring.

“I see the Mel­ton Cen­ter as a great com­mu­nity re­source,” LeBold said. “It’s his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant in the African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity.”

The mea­sure, for­mally known as a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing, has al­ready been ap­proved by a 7-0 vote by bor­ough coun­cil at the Nov. 16 coun­cil meet­ing.

The agree­ment con­tains three sep­a­rate cat­e­gories of items the cen­ter and bor­ough could col­lab­o­rate on: “low-hang­ing fruit,” “a bit of a stretch,” and “pie in the sky.”

Short-term agree­ments in­clude pro­mot­ing a farmer’s mar­ket, shar­ing tech­nol­ogy and staffing, cre­at­ing a fit­ness cen­ter and

ren­o­vat­ing ex­ist­ing of­fice space.

Ad­di­tion­ally, now the Mel­ton Cen­ter can ad­ver­tise its pro­grams on the West Ch­ester Bor­ough Ac­tiv­i­ties Guide and on the bor­ough web­site.

This is not the first time the bor­ough at­tempted to work with the Mel­ton Cen­ter. Lebold said in the late 1990s, a sim­i­lar sug­ges­tion was made, but an agree­ment was never made.

The on­line doc­u­ment also in­cludes a sum­mary of goals and ob­jec­tives, as well as a brief history of the Mel­ton Cen­ter writ­ten by Sa­muel C. Stretton, a long­time

Ch­ester County at­tor­ney.

In his sum­mary, Stretton wrote about the lit­i­ga­tion where he rep­re­sented Mel­ton try­ing to im­ple­ment the ward sys­tem in the bor­ough.

“Mr. Mel­ton es­sen­tially cre­ated the Mel­ton Cen­ter to pro­vide a place for mi­nor­ity chil­dren to have recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties and men­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties,” Stretton wrote.


Hav­ing her face painted Aug. 21 at the Charles A. Mel­ton Arts & Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter is Rose­mary Bar­rera,6, of West Ch­ester by Danelle Cooper for Health Part­ners Plans. The bor­ough and cen­ter have pledged to work closer to­gether and share re­sources.


The Charles A. Mel­ton Arts and Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter in West Ch­ester Bor­ough held its annual Com­mu­nity Day in 2014. Here, Bertha Wil­liams Porter, 98, is one of the com­mu­nity lead­ers de­picted in the mu­ral.

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