Monday, February 22, 2010

Malones, McWilliamses, & the Cherokee Library

As with many small towns, you'll be able to see the same surnames printed on various storefronts and attached to signage at various city offices. These families who have decided to remain in place in the communities in which they were born are usually those who do the most for the towns of their birth. This can be either a huge plus or a worrisome minus.

Such is the case of Cherokee, now currently in the news for more reasons than we can enumerate without looking at our notes. Two of these old family names are the McWilliamses and the Malones.

In 1966, Mrs. James McWilliams chaired the committee that brought Cherokee its first library, with Ross Malone a charter member. In 1986 Sarah McWilliams (Mrs. James?) is mentioned in Cherokee annals as paying off the library mortgage and donating the edifice to the town. Not a small financial feat, we're sure.

By 2007, Allison Paige Hite McWilliams was appointed the Cherokee Library Director by then-Mayor Mignon Willis, presumably without a background check. It wasn't until Chuck Lansdell's term that a shortfall of almost $17,000.00 was discovered. It also came to light that Cherokee City Clerk Melinda Malone had blindly notarized an (as yet) unknown legal document that was worth thousands to McWilliams. Melinda Malone is married to Cherokee Town Councilman Mike Malone.

Paige McWilliams is currently under indictment for embezzling the 17K, while Lansdell has added a private suit over the secret document said to be worth in the neighborhood of 40K. We're sure there will be more developments to follow, but for now we think there might be a big demand for printed programs to this slug fest.

Overheard at church: I wanted a diamond tennis bracelet for Valentine's and all I got was this ridiculous blue plastic white elephant from Q-Gas.