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Fayetteville Partnership Leader Steps Down

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FAYETTEVILLE — The leader of Fayetteville's Downtown Revitalization Group has resigned. Robin Huske Kelly says the time is right to move on.

Kelly has been with theFayetteville Partnershipfor 15 years. Caught up in controversy about her credit card bills, Kelly is resigning so the Partnership's work can continue.

"The mistake I made has been blown out of proportion," said Kelly.

The mistake was using a Fayetteville Partnership credit card for personal use. The controversy about it is what made Kelly step down.

"We're just at a very, very important time in the process of revitalization, and I don't want to do anything to impede that progress," explained Kelly.

Under Kelly's leadership, the downtown area has really taken shape.

The sounds of new construction are booming throughout the center city, and vacant buildings are now filled. The former chairman of the Partnership says it will be hard to fill Kelly's shoes because she is a Fayetteville native with heart.

"She believes in what she's doing. To find that person who had the commitment and love in the community will be difficult," said Rep. Bill Hurley, Partnership proponent.

For now, the doors to the Market House, which housed the Partnership's offices, are locked.

City leaders say they are dedicated to maintaining the momentum of revitalization. The roles of the Partnership are temporarily being handled by the city's Department of Community and Economic Development.

"We are too far in it, and we've got too much at stake to ever regress or event think in those terms," said Ben Brown, assistant city manager.

The city council is waiting to make a decision on the future of the Fayetteville Partnership.

Members are reviewing an audit that was released late Wednesday afternoon.

The audit outlines poor record keeping, a need to establish policies and manuals and the inappropriate reimbursement of funds to all Partnership employees.


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