After months of tension between the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) and the Scioto County Commissioners, SOPA Chair Bud Sayre has announced that he has resigned from the board effective 4 p.m., Monday.
Sayre has been the Chairman of SOPA for three years and said he praises the majority of the SOPA board on their work for the citizens of Scioto County.
“Until this year, the board membership came from a variety of backgrounds and interests and was able to cohesively work toward a common goal of revitalizing economic development in southern Ohio,” Sayre commented. “Our diversity ranged from labor to business, to an accountant, an experienced attorney, a real estate agent, leadership from the Southern Ohio Medical Center, the City of Portsmouth, the Village of New Boston, Shawnee State University, the Pipefitters, Community Action Organization, to one of the oldest and largest small businesses within the tri-state area … ”
The Scioto County Commissioners sent notice to SOPA Sept. 21, that SOPA would no longer represent Scioto County in matters related to economic development and that the County would instead be opening an economic development office.
Since that time, the Commissioners have called for the resignation of any SOPA member that does not agree with the County’s new direction for the entity.
On Sept. 29, 2017, Chairman of the Commissioners Bryan Davis stated “We [the Commissioners] changed the job description, what we would like to see done. But it’s clear that there are individuals that would like to go in another direction. I publicly would like to ask for those who are not in favor of seeing the Port Authority move forward on its current path, resign if you please.”
Sayre is the second board member, following Chris Smith, to tender his resignation. Before Sayre and Smith, Executive Director Jason Kester and Project Manager Adam Phillips tendered their resignations.