County Museum expands board

Longtime volunteer added to panel

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Crittenden County Museum will be adding at least one more seat and possible two to its board of directors. Board Chairman Scott Lovelady asked the Quorum Court’s permission to add Thomas Machnitzki, a museum volunteer who has been instrumental in increasing the museum’s views on Facebook, to the board. “Thomas lives in Marion,” Lovelady said. “He is from Germany and he is a historian.” The board currently has seven members, but Lovelady said Machnitzki has been an outstanding volunteer and would bring a lot of energy to the museum. “He does a wonderful job,” Lovelady said. “He volunteered at the museum and he kept coming back, which a lot of people don’t. They volunteer for a while and then they are gone. But Thomas came over and has worked the county for us. He has cleaned. He has painted.” Lovelady said since Machnitzki took over the museum’s Facebook page it has grown from 260 likes to 1,600 likes. “He puts a lot of stories on there,” Lovelady said. A story and video he posted on Facebook about the Trail of Tears which passed through Crittenden County last week had over 60,000 views. “We’re getting a lot of publicity and a lot of new people through that since Thomas has been here,” Lovelady said. “We’ve had some new donations from Facebook who have contacted Thomas. Some people in Marion have an 1840s piano they are going to donate that is in wonderful shape. And that came because of Thomas.” The county must approve all members of the museum board. Appointments are lifetime appointments. “Most of the board members have been board members for many, many years,” Lovelady explained. “They either helped start this museum or their family members did. That’s how I came on because my mother-in-law was on the board. A lot of our members are older and are not extremely active. So Thomas would bring some youth and energy on the board and some enthusiasm to help grow the museum. We checked him out and made sure he would be a good fit.” Justice Lorenzo Parker pointed out that adding a new board member would bring the number of members to an even number. “Most boards have odd number of members to avoid the possibility of tie votes,” Parker said. “If you’re comfortable with that, I have no problem.” Lovelady said the chairman only gets to vote in a tie. “In the four years I have been there, we have never had a tie,” Lovelady said. “It is usually simple stuff — buying cleaning supplies. No drastic decisions. If we do, we would come to you to get that approved before we go on with something like that.” Justice Hubert Bass suggested the museum might want to consider asking for two new slots to keep it at an odd number. “That way you have nine,” Bass said. “But if you’re comfortable with eight, that’s fine.” “All right. I will check with them and see,” Lovelady responded. The Quorum Court agreed to add the additional slot, but asked that the museum forward a copy of Machnitzki’s resume for them to look over before agreeing to approve his appointment.

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