The controversial president of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society abruptly resigned February 11 after cleaning out his office in the city-owned McIntire Building.
In a “hastily written note,” says Will Lyster, a historical society director, Steven G. Meeks resigned from the organization he’s headed for about a decade. The board asked Lyster to step in as interim president February 14.
“We realized that in the past couple of months, Steven had done nothing,” says Lyster, including the “10 easy things the city wanted done to renew the lease.” And Meeks’ departure comes at a time when the city is reconsidering its lease for the historical society, whose membership has dropped by half during his tenure.
Meeks drew scrutiny last summer when the historical society stalled a UVA professor’s access to its collection of Ku Klux Klan robes. At a September City Council meeting, planning commissioner Genevieve Keller said the society’s leadership had been “antagonistic” toward the Jefferson School African American Center, and Councilor Kathy Galvin called the nonprofit “an absolute mess.”
“We have a lot of housekeeping,” says Lyster, who is working on the city’s demands, including a more diverse board and inventory of the society’s assets.
Meeks did not return phone calls from C-VILLE.