Controversial curtains installed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MURFREESBORO – There seems to be an effort here to move forward from any past litigious interior decorating.

At Tuesday’s Murfreesboro Town Council meeting, the five divisive window treatments along with wooden blinds hung in the Council’s meeting room in all their glory for all to see.

The council’s decision to hang the treatments came at the last meeting when former Murfreesboro Beautification Committee (MBC) member Elizabeth Phillips announced the flower print draperies had been paid off by the Friends of Beautification.

At that meeting Phillips noted Southern Interiors, Inc. in Suffolk, Va. would donate wooden blinds to accompany the window treatment.

While the installation of the draperies appears to be a remedial large step, perhaps an even bigger one is the talk of reconvening MBC, which was dissolved in November until further notice.

According to minutes from the council’s recent retreat, under administration projects it states: “Reconvene the Beautification Committee with concrete guidelines of the Committee’s role and responsibilities.”

As reported, the issue stems from a Jan. 24, 2006 decision made by the town council in regards to indefinitely tabling a MBC request to spend $13,140 to purchase window treatments (curtains/drapes) and new chairs for the council’s chambers at the town’s municipal building.

Despite that decision, invoices totaling $4938.70 were approved in May and June of last year for the purchase of fabric and five window treatments. Furthermore, Mayor Lynn Johnson signed purchase orders for fabric and window treatments, which town policy prohibits as the mayor nor council members can act as purchasing agents.

MBC Certificates of Deposits were cashed in to help reciprocate the cost of the window treatments. However, this effort came up $649.53 short; an amount that was made up with “private funds” solicited by former MBC members.