Commissioners fill SOPA board

February 7, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

At the Thursday meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners two more people were added as members of the Southern Ohio Port Authority to round out the board’s membership at 21.

Those being appointed to the board were Rodney Barnett and Harold “Bud” Sayre.

Recently the commissioners expanded the membership of the SOPA board from 11 members to 21 members.

According to Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, the expanded SOPA board membership means a better representation of the entire community.

Those recently appointed include, Portsmouth Mayor David Malone; Scioto County Interim Economic Development Director Todd Book; New Boston Councilman Mike Payton; Portsmouth City Health Commissioner Chris Smith; Attorney George Davis, III along with Daniel Cassidy, Tom Kayser, Loretta McClure, Robert Holsinger, Jr. and Bryan Davis.

Crabtree said his assumption is that current SOPA vice chairman Bill Thacker will become the chairman at SOPA’s next meeting.

Thacker said he does not see a great deal of change coming to the organization as a result of recent changes.

“We (SOPA) are looking at industrial development for the most part. Although, if a good retail opportunity would become available we would certainly take a look at that,” Thacker said. “Our (SOPA) main concern is to bring employment and employers into the area who would provide a living wage, benefits and add some positive impact into our economy.”

Crabtree indicated more changes may be on the way for SOPA.

“We are asking the newly expanded port authority to review its bylaws and committees to determine if more structural changes are needed. I cannot overstate how vital and effective and efficient the Port Authority is for our county’s future. Nor can I overstate the need for motivated and engaged Port Authority members.”

In released statements Scioto County Commissioner Skip Riffe stated, ”expansion of the Port Authority was needed. The prevalent approach is to use the port authority as the main economic development tool. The new members combined with the current members makes for a good mix of people to accomplish the Port Authority’s goals.”

The next scheduled Southern Ohio Port Authority meeting is set for Feb. 14.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com.