‘Mr. Melton would be proud’
West Chester Borough, Melton Center to work together
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.