By Jim Young
The Crossville City Council approved continuing to sponsor The Tennessee Women's Open and the TSSAA State Team Championship golf tournaments over the objections of Councilman Pete Souza.
The issue came up during the marketing report by Billy Loggins as he explained the tournaments were scheduled but were outside of the current budget and the organizers needed notification if the city did not plan to continue their sponsorship. The sponsorship of the Tennessee Women's open is $25,000 and the team championship is $15,000.
Councilman Danny Wyatt asked Loggins if he was working on local help to defray the cost. Loggins said he was but did not have anything concrete to report at the time.
“This is what were known for,” added councilman Wyatt, “so we need to play golf.”
Souza commented that the cost was actually more than the $25,000 sponsorship and was budgeted last year at $40,000. Souza said he felt the matter needed to be discussed at a work session in the future.
Mayor J.H. Graham III asked Loggins when the organizers needed to know the city's decision and Loggins answered, “Yesterday.”
Graham said the city had worked for many years to get the tournaments to locate in Crossville and if a reduction was needed, he felt the city should keep the Tennessee Women's Open and release the other tournament. The mayor added that it depended on the will of the council, but he the called Women's open the premier event.
Souza explained that he was basing his comments on what constituents had told him, including what he called “some bitterness about sponsoring a tournament at Fairfield Glade.” Souza wondered if Fairfield could carry part of the cost.
Graham reminded the council that the tournament ties up the golf course for almost a week and that has a large value. In addition, there are some 300 volunteers that help and Fairfield feels like they put in an investment to the tournament already.
Danny Wyatt asked for the city manager's opinion and Bruce Wyatt said he has studied the expenditures and feels the city has two unique brands that have been developed and that the city is identified by. Bruce Wyatt said one is golf and the other is the Cumberland County Playhouse and those two brands have become very important to the community.
Bruce Wyatt said he shared Souza's concern about money being spent and the decisions that must be made. He continued that the council must keep it's eye on the future.
Souza said he hoped the city would look hard at the next year's budget and try to find partners to share the costs.
Graham moved that city continue with both the tournaments and the motion was seconded by Danny Wyatt. The motion passed with Souza opposed and the other four council members in favor.
The city of Crossville recognized the winners of the annual Christmas card design contest. The grand prize winner was seventh-grader Tanatta Eiammutita from Crab Orchard. Other winners included Rylee Allen of Stone Elementary, Andrew Johnson of South, Rebecca Stapleton of CCHS, Ellie Sanders of Martin Elementary, Elicia Rollins of North and Callie Piper of Pleasant Hill. The contest began in 2001 and the designs of the students are printed and sent out by the city.
Students of the Month were also recognized during the December regular Council meeting. Fourth-grader Riley Smith was recognized for the character trait of caring. Riley was described by her teacher as concerned for others and careful with her actions so as to not hurt anyone's feelings.
Also recognized was the November student of the month. Seventh-grader Spencer Park was recognized for the trait of manners. Spencer's teachers described him as “mindful of others and that he tries to listen and converse with others respectfully.