To the Editor:
With respect to the controversy with the Carroll County Airport Authority, I believe the county commissioners need to remove the entire board with the exception of Ted Lairson. The commissioners need to appoint a board comprised of four county business residents and one pilot to the board. Having nearly all pilots on this board is like putting a fox in the hen house tonight and expect to have eggs for breakfast tomorrow. This has been the ongoing problem with the airport for the past 25 years or more.
Recently, Rick Carlton made a statement to the effect that Mr. Lairson was nothing but a trouble maker by asking questions about the actions of the board and the monies being expended. When I was still county commissioner, a position became open. Mr. Lairson submitted his resume and we were impressed with his management and financial experience at Republic Steel and we appointed him to the board. He was appointed to do exactly what he has been doing, question the actions of the board, both past and present, along with the high cost of the consulting firm.
As to the issues of Leon Lamp and Harry and Lisa Stansbury. First the issue of the restaurant equipment which one board member said was a generous donation to Mrs. Stansbury, when in fact, some of that equipment is old and I doubt if you could give it to anyone else. As to Mr. Lamp, I was a member of the Airport Authority when Mr. Lamp first came to the aiport. Mr. Lamp has a very good reputation in repairing aircraft and many aircraft owners come to Carroll County for his work and he is an asset to the county. However, I believe the board is correct in raising his rent to $800 to reflect current market conditions. I don’t believe Mr. Lamp would object to this.
I would like to discuss the seven-member board. The by-laws have always called for a five (5) member board. During my tenure as commissioner, I was repeatedly asked by Alan Miller to put seven (7) people on the board. I refused to consider the issue as I believed then and now, that five honest citizens were enough to oversee the airport. Unless the commissioners can show in their journal the meeting where this was changed, then the current board might be illegal. I was surprised that one member of the board doesn’t live in Carroll County. This may or may not be legal, but it should not be as the board represents Carroll County.
Finally, as to fuel at cost and the meeting place, Ohio Revised Code 308.04 says that, “A board member shall have no interest in any contract or other service.” I would think that buying fuel at cost would be illegal and if not, should be as it is self serving. As to the meeting place, it is strange that the authority meetings have always been held at the airport for the last 30 or more years with no problems. The general public would expect airport business to be discussed at the airport.
In closing, I would suggest the commissioners not reappoint expiring board member pilots and instead appoint non-pilot residents of Carroll County.
Larry W. Garner