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Chairman says committee made Courage Award choice

Published Sep. 26, 2005

Upon further review, the selection of James Ransom as the nominee for the Hillsborough County Moral Courage Award should stand, said David Hurley, chairman of the group that makes the nominations.

That's also the opinion of County Attorney Emmy Acton, whose staff reviewed a tape of Friday's nominating meeting and concluded that the decision was clear.

Committee member Denise Lasher said Wednesday she plans to ask for a special meeting so a formal vote can be taken on who should be nominated for the award, given each year since 1992.

Lasher said she thinks the committee nominated both Ransom and water activist Gaye Townsend.

The County Commission has the final say but has never rejected a nomination by the committee.

Ransom thwarted Tampa's plans to allow the Tampa-Hillsborough YMCA to manage Rogers Park Golf Course. The course has cultural and historical significance to many blacks, who wanted the city to make repairs and retain the current management structure. After a raucous debate, that's exactly what the City Council decided to do.

Lasher said if it's clear the Ransom/Townsend motion failed, she will drop the matter.

"I think it was just a misunderstanding," Hurley said. "It's not a big deal. I don't see where we need to have another meeting."