Council has musical night

Kelly Mills

Kent City Council had some musical accompaniment for its meeting last night.

Hal Walker, Kent resident and coordinator of a children’s choir, performed a song about the city that he wrote.

“Kent, Ohio, well I know that I’m home when I’m, oh, in Kent, Ohio,” Walker sang to the council.

After Walker’s performance, the council and attendees gave him a standing ovation.

“This is the first time the council has stood up and applauded,” Mayor John A. Fender said.

Ward 3 Councilman Wayne A. Wilson was impressed even more by Walker’s performance.

“Can I ask you one favor? Will you autograph this for me please?” he said.

Other council members also had Walker autograph papers.

The children’s choir Walker is organizing will make its first appearance at the Heritage Festival July 1. The choir also will perform at various events as a part of the Kent bicentennial festivities.

Pat Morton, co-chair of the Kent Bicentennial Project, said $53,575 has been raised from the city of Kent, sponsorships and individual contributions for the festivities.

Morton said the next event will be the planting of the bicentennial tree April 28 in Davey Arboretum. The tree planting will be co-sponsored by the Shade Tree Committee and the Davey Tree Company.

Throughout the month, area schools will be rotating a student art show titled “My Favorite Place in Kent.” A compilation of student works will be shown at the end of April.

Morton said the Honors College and the Bicentennial Committee ironed out plans yesterday for a partnership to offer a course to Kent State students about Kent history and the bicentennial. The course will be offered this fall.

Ward 5 Councilman Ed Bargerstock later raised issue with area medical research facilities after watching a television program detailing the improper handling of body parts. Bargerstock moved for the council to permit the health department and the zoning department to investigate any questionable facilities.

Ward 2 Councilwoman Carrie Gavriloff said as a health professional, body parts are never used for demonstrations at conferences held at such places as hotel ballrooms, one of Bargerstock’s concerns. She said this permission would open council up to more problems in the future.

“We can get into a whole can of worms that I don’t think we should be involved in,” she said.

The motion failed.

Council also voted on whether to have administration research a request for increased funding from the Kent Regional Business Alliance. If the request is approved by council, the funding will be taken out of the general fund since block funding.

Gavriloff moved to approve the administration research before the council made a final decision. Some council members raised issue, but after clarification that the money would not be approved until after the research was completed, the motion was approved.

Contact public affairs reporter Kelly Mills at [email protected].