Dr. Smith Chooses To Resign

Published 12:29 pm Thursday, July 4, 2013

FARMVILLE – HOPE Community Services Inc. Executive Director Dr. Kitty Smith has decided to resign.

She blamed a split on the agency's board of directors and the inability of the board to follow through on its executive committee's recommendation, and the urging of the Virginia Department of Social Services, to voluntarily rescind community action agency status.

“In light of the controversy that has been caused by a splinter group on the board-and I do want to say splinter group-and misrepresentation of statements I've made, I've decided that it's in the best interests of the district that I resign,' Dr. Smith told The Herald in a brief telephone statement on Wednesday afternoon.

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“I am grieved that the board did not follow the recommendation of the state because it would have assured immediate services-really, that's the reason I'm resigning-I'm grieved over their ignoring the recommendation. If they'd done what the state said there would be immediate assistance for the residents of the district. Now, according to Fran Inge (director of the department's Office of Volunteer and Community Services), it may be as long as two years before there is service in this area again.”

Dr. Smith's resignation will have no impact on the state's suspension of community services block grant funding or its recommendation that the governor rescind HOPE's community action agency status.

In a July 1 email to Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett, Inge wrote that “all CSBG funds to HOPE Community Services will remain suspended-regardless of HOPE's leadership.”

Coming two days before Dr. Smith's resignation, Inge's statement is not a reaction to her resigning, obviously, but nonetheless reflects state policy toward any changes of executive director or board membership.

(See the accompanying front-page story interview with Inge for additional information on HOPE's status with the Virginia Department of Social Services).