Hill works first commission meeting on board

Taylor Harrison

Tuesday’s Bowling Green Board of Commissioners meeting was the first for Melinda Hill, a WKU instructor and executive-in-residence of Information Systems.

Hill was sworn in as the newest Bowling Green city commissioner on March 3 after being chosen from a pool of 18 applicants.

Hill graduated from Warren East High School and earned her Master of Business Administration from WKU.

She said she wasn’t too nervous heading into her first meeting.

“I was fine once it started,” she said.

Hill said it helped that she got to start off the meeting, even though it was just to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

As the meeting began, Hill took her place, two seats down from Mayor Joe Denning.

Denning introduced Hill at the beginning of the meeting and welcomed her as the new member of the board. 

Denning also noted that Hill’s first commission meeting brought more cameras and press to City Hall than normal.

Hill asked questions and remained involved in the discussion throughout the meeting.

She said her position as a WKU instructor won’t affect her decision-making as a city commissioner. 

 “I want what’s best for Western, but more importantly I want what’s best for the citizens of Bowling Green,” Hill said.

Hill also does not think her position at WKU was what led her to be chosen as the newest city commissioner. She said “it was never even mentioned in the interview,” and she has done a lot more during her career, such as working at a Fortune 500 company and a non-profit organization.

Hill also said she thinks the city of Bowling Green and WKU “have a good working relationship now,” and that’s a practice she wants to continue. She said this is important because WKU is Bowling Green’s biggest employer.

Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash was pleased with the way her first meeting went. Nash voted yes in the 3-1 decision amongst commissioners and Denning to bring Hill on board.

“When I cast my vote selecting Melinda, I knew she was a conscientious type person who would study the issues, and she showed that last night by asking what I thought were very thoughtful questions,” he said.

Commissioner Bill Waltrip said he also thought the meeting went well.

While Waltrip, also a WKU instructor, voted against bringing Hill on to the board, he said this is because he felt strongly that the position should have gone to someone who had been previously considered. He made that decision before Hill had even applied for the position.

“I’ve known Melinda for a long time,” Waltrip said. “I know she’ll do a fine job.”