FRONT ROYAL – The Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority board’s two longest-tenured members, Greg Drescher and Ron Llewellyn, resigned Friday.
Both of their terms came to an end last month, but EDA Attorney Dan Whitten previously explained that code allows them to keep their seats until the county either re-appoints them or appoints new members.
Drescher is the superintendent of Warren County Schools while Llewellyn is a business owner.
The resignations came after the EDA board received a report from an auditor hired to look into EDA financial dealings. Llewellyn said after the meeting that both of them thought it was important they stayed on during “the work that was being done.”
Llewellyn said the resignations have nothing to do with what was in the report, and “you’ll see that for yourselves next week.” He added that the report “has nothing to do with any board member, thank God.” Drescher said after the meeting that he would not like to expand beyond the statement made during the meeting.
Drescher said during the meeting that upon the start of his third term in 2015, he thought it would be his last. During the last year, he said “areas of concern were raised and several investigations were started,” which he hoped would be concluded prior to his term’s end.
Upon realizing the investigation would not be concluded by the end of his term, Drescher said he asked the Board of Supervisors to let him stay on “so I could support whatever needed to be done to keep the EDA moving forward despite these issues.”
“They graciously agreed. I believed they understood that it would be helpful to have someone with longer history be a part of the process,” he said.
Drescher said that it is a good time for him to step aside from “this voluntary role” as the EDA investigations conclude and the board is “on the path of reworking many of its practices and policies.”
Drescher said the future of the town and county “depends on a strong, aligned and supported” EDA that will bring jobs, talent and investment to the community.
“I stand ready to assist in any way possible as we begin a new chapter for the EDA,” Drescher said.
Llewellyn said he thinks the board has done “an awful lot of good things” and has set a high bar as far as creating jobs in the county. He said that his resignation comes after much thought and consideration.
“I think it’s in the best interest of both the EDA and Warren County,” he said.
Llewellyn said that resigning was a tough decision and “hopefully we’ll get past this chapter that’s been very difficult for all of us.”
He added that he is prepared to help the board in any way in the future and he wishes everyone the best. The board unanimously voted to allow Llewellyn to remain a liaison to a potential future business prospect.
EDA Chairman Gray Blanton said the board appreciates Drescher’s and Llewellyn’s time and effort and all of the good things of which they have been a part.
The resignations mark an ongoing reshuffling of the EDA board and organization that began with former director of marketing Marla Taylor Jones’ October 2017 retirement.
In August, Drescher stepped down as chairman but remained on the board. In October, treasurer of 30 years William Biggs retired citing health issues. Also that month EDA bookkeeper of 20 years Josie Rickard retired.
In December, executive director Jennifer McDonald resigned after holding the position a decade.
On Monday, administrative assistant Missy Henry tendered her resignation. Blanton said the reason she provided was that she did not get along with interim director John Anzivino, although that may not be the true reason.
More reshuffling will proceed next week as the EDA board has two meetings schedule to interview candidates to fill Anzivino’s interim position.