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Mayor Ball Reaches Out To University To Reconstitute ‘Town and Gown’ Committee After Hiatus of a Few Years

By Jesse Wood

April 21, 2014. Officials with the Town of Boone and Appalachian State University have decided to reconstitute the “Town and Gown” committee after a hiatus of a few years.

The committee hasn’t formally met since 2011. That was about the time that Kendal McDevitt, who spearheaded the committee and its action items, took maternity leave.

The committee was formed in the spring of 2008 to seek “ways to improve communication and community relations between the ASU and Boone communities in order to improve the quality of life for concerned citizens,” according to an April 14 letter from Chancellor Kenneth Peacock to Mayor Andy Ball.

Ball acknowledged that he recently reached out to Peacock and university officials to reconstitute the Town and Gown committee because he believed it was “in the best interest” of the town, county and college to enhance their relationships. 

Ball and an alternate will be appointed to the committee at its April Boone Town Council meeting on Thursday. 

Watauga County Board of Commissioners already appointed Commissioner Billy Kennedy and County Manager Deron Geouque or his designee to serve on the committee.

According to Peacock’s letter, Dr. Susan McCracken, director of external affairs and community relations at ASU, will serve as Peacock’s designee and Trustee Alice Roess will serve as a ASU Board of Trustees representative. Peacock also noted that he asked J.J. Brown, dean of students, and Dylan Russell, student body president at ASU, to represent the student constituency.

“I feel our working relationship is strong, but believe reinvigorating this committee will serve us well as we address future challenges,” Peacock wrote.  

See his entire letter below:

Town and Gown Letter