Danville Mayor Bernie Hunstad resigned Thursday from his seat on the board of directors of Boyle County Industrial Foundation effective immediately.
In a letter addressed to Jody Lassiter, who serves as CEO of both the industrial foundation and the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, Hunstad said he was stepping down because he "determined the BCIF is a privately owned 'for profit' corporation and not a non-profit organization as represented."
The mayor of Danville and Boyle County Judge-Executive serve as non-voting, ex officio members of the industrial foundation. In addition to the city and county leaders and Lassiter, the foundation includes nine elected members who represent many of the county's top employers.
Hunstad has recently questioned whether the city is getting its money's worth from its investment in the EDP. During Wednesday's regular EDP board meeting Hunstad, whose poor attendance at previous meetings has been in the news recently, objected to the group's plans to move into buildings at Constitution Square Park.
In is letter, Hunstad said he is concerned about the unique relationship between the EDP and the industrial foundation. Although the industrial foundation has private stockholders and has never directly received public money, the mayor said Lassiter's dual role and the fact the groups shares administrative staff and offices made the arrangement problematic.
"I feel it is therefore inappropriate for me to attend business meetings which are not open to the public," Hunstad said in his letter.
The foundation's chairman John Albright also serves as the chairman of the EDP board.
The industrial foundation, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in late 2011, purchased and marketed most of the land where Boyle County's largest manufacturing employers have located over the last several decades in or around the John Hill Bailey Industrial Park.
For more on this story read Friday's edition of the Advocate-Messenger.