SOPA board elects new leadership

Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

April 18, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

At the Thursday meeting of the Southern Ohio Port Authority, new officers were elected to lead the organization in 2013.

Scioto County Interim Economic Development Director Todd Book was elected chairman and Rodney Barnett was elected Vice-Chairman. Dan Cassidy was made Secretary/Treasurer and Loretta McClure Vice-Secretary/Treasurer.

“I’m excited but, I also realize this is a big obligation. I know the people of the community are looking for some new direction, some change and some economic development activities,” Book said. “The charge from the county commissioners is to use this group as a centerpiece of economic development in the community. I think that’s a serious obligation and all of us on the board are excited to fulfill that obligation.”

Previous to the reorganization Scioto County Community Action Organization, CEO Bill Thacker had been serving as chairman of the organization due to a resignation of board chairman earlier this year.

“We’re heading off into new territory here, and I am excited to be a part of that. I expect a lot from everyone in the group. We have a lot of work to do and we have a lot of people counting on what happens here,” Book told the SOPA board.

Since the first of the year, the SOPA board has undergone its own reorganization when the commissioners expanded its membership from 11 members to 21.

On Tuesday, the commissioners filled the remaining vacancy on the board with the appointment of Kevin Craft.

At the time of the expansion of the board, Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners said, “We think what we’ve done here is going to help enhance the board. What were trying to do here should be obvious to the community.”

Crabtree said this does not indicate a change in mission or purpose for SOPA.

“No matter what we do in life we’re always trying to figure out better and efficient ways of doing things. I don’t think the purpose (of SOPA) has changed,” Crabtree said. “Scioto County has kind of been at the end of the line it seems like for the last 60 years. I have a lot of friends and relatives who drive a hundred miles to work everyday. I don’t think there is anyone in Scioto County who does not want jobs and opportunities here. So, if what we are doing here can help boost or enhance that a little, that’s what our purpose is.

Were not here to throw the baby out with the bath water, we’re here to do something that will maybe, make the Port Authority’s job a little easier.”

Crabtree said the action taken by the commissioners is being done for the right reasons.

For more information about SOPA look for them on Facebook.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.