Heather Worthington resigned from the board of Kentucky Capital Development Corp. (KCDC) on Friday.
In May, KCDC had all six board positions filled. Worthington’s resignation whittles that number down to three.
Worthington, a managing partner at Chili’s, wrote in an email to Frankfort Mayor Layne Wilkerson that work complications and “the complex issues facing KCDC” as reasons that she could no longer serve on the board.
“I have always been an advocate for economic development in Frankfort and have enjoyed being a part of helping bring business to our community,” Worthington wrote. “Due to the current situation in my career and the complex issues facing KCDC, I don’t believe I am able to be an effective member of this board.”
The board, composed of three city and three county appointees, is now without any city appointees. Frankfort Mayor Layne Wilkerson has the discretion to appoint any new potential members with the approval of a majority of the city commission.
Remaining members include local attorney and current board chair Clay Patrick, Topy America Inc. executive Sam Amburgey, as well as realtor and longtime board member Danny Willis.
KCDC President/CEO Terri Bradshaw spoke highly of Worthington’s tenure on the board.
“Heather was an excellent board member and a wonderful advocate for the mission of KCDC,” Bradshaw said. “So while we certainly understand her reasoning for quitting, we will miss her input and expertise in the workforce issues facing our employers.”
Wilkerson told The State Journal last week that he already had some people in mind to fill the vacancies left by Horn and Barber, and that he was looking for creative and competitive candidates.
“Now is the time, coming out of a pandemic and with new leadership in place — it’s as good as any to revisit what our goals are and what our vision is to make sure we’re all working in lockstep,” Wilkerson said.
KCDC’s funding has been drastically reduced over the past two years, raising praise and questions from those in the community.
A majority of both elected bodies supported cuts to KCDC’s funding — with the Fiscal Court being split 4-3 and nobody in the five-member city commission speaking against the city’s $30,000 cut — but city officials said that organizations that were cut could come to the city and ask for budget amendments after the fact.
The Fiscal Court's cuts were in part informed by a letter written by Jim Daniel and James Inman, allegedly on behalf of a group of “concerned citizens,” highly critical of Bradshaw. In response to the letter and the cuts, business leaders took out an ad in The State Journal defending KCDC's mission and the quality of Bradshaw's work.