10/26/05 — County museum searches for new director

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County museum searches for new director

By Turner Walston
Published in News on October 26, 2005 1:59 PM

The Wayne County Museum will have a new director soon after members of the county's Historical Association decided to change the direction of and personnel at the facility, officials said today.

Association President Louis Marriner Jr. said the group will be replacing museum director Catherine Belmonte, just one portion of a plan to completely change the focus of the museum.

"We're trying to make some major changes in the museum itself and inside," Marriner said. "We're going to revamp everything in there."

Marriner said the Historical Association will be taking steps to enhance museum exhibits and begin an aggressive membership campaign.

"Things that we have not been able to do in the past," he added.

Marriner said he decided to replace Mrs. Belmonte about three weeks ago, adding that the change was not a quick or easy decision, but said it was made with the future of the museum as his top priority.

"I'd been thinking about it all along," Marriner said. "It came down between the museum, and what I thought needed to be done. We had to do something to get this thing going."

Marriner lauded Mrs. Belmonte's efforts, saying she "did her best," but added that the future growth of the museum requires a different approach.

The Historical Association has not named a replacement, although Marriner said he hoped to make a decision in time for the group's Nov. 8 meeting. Marriner said volunteers have been working in the museum in the meantime.

Searching for a new director will take time, he added.

"We're going to have to have a very special person, a take-charge person that can do these things, and someone who has the expertise to do these things," Marriner said.