A proposed resolution dissolving the Airport Commission and creating an advisory board while giving full authority to the airport director was called a joke and tabled at the county’s latest Economic and Agricultural Development Committee meeting.
County commissioners did not see eye to eye with each other or with current members of the Airport Commission on Tuesday night while discussing the proposed resolution. The resolution would dissolve the current Airport Commission and create a new advisory board that would assist the airport director, but not be in charge of him.
“We have a director and he will be in charge and if he makes a mistake it is his job on the line from his own mistake and the board will be in an advisory capacity,” said Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin of the proposal.
Commissioner Ron Lee had a few concerns about the resolution and was not in favor of disbanding the Airport Commission, but he would like to see a few additional members with different ideas. Lee said as chair of Safety and Beer Board Committee he would not tell the EMS director what to do and micromanage him and he does not believe the airport manager should be micromanaged.
Bouldin favors the new resolution because he believes change is needed.
“We have had a lot of offenses and things that have not gone smoothly, so we thought we would fix it. This is a 75-year-old resolution and we thought we would try to change it to make it better and one person making the decision. If not, you have got a person out there making around $54,000 a year. We don’t need a $54,000 guy that is not running his own show as a director,” said Bouldin.
Commissioner Michael Bell said he felt like they were rushing this decision.
“There needs to be some changes made. I’m not against that, but we went at this in a hurry,” said Michael Bell. “This is big. This isn’t some small item… If we are going to push this through tonight, I am probably going to be a no vote for that reason because I am not ready to make a decision.”
Carl Bouldin said he has worked on the resolution for three months, but would entertain a motion to table it until next meeting. Bell made a motion to table the resolution and it passed unanimously. Carl Bouldin encouraged the commissioners to do their due diligence and study what is going on.
Commissioner Brad Hillis asked the current Airport Commission members present how they felt about new board members and asked how many were willing to serve on an advisory board.
Said Airport Commission chair Keith Bouldin, “I’ll speak for myself and I am not willing to serve on an advisory board. I will go back to my question to Carl. You have told us all these grievances you have talked to people about, but why haven’t you come to us? When somebody has a grievance why don’t you call us and come to our meetings and discuss it with us?”
Answered Carl Bouldin, “I was told that the county talked to y’all about September and about things that needed to change and they have had trouble getting everything in order. That is what I was told.”
Keith Bouldin explained that if there is a good airport director things will go well, but they had a bad director who did not listen.
“We had a manager who didn’t think he worked for us and we went through eight months of that and now what you are trying to do is going to be the same problem,” said Keith Bouldin.
Keith Bouldin then again brought up the fact that Carl Bouldin did not bring the complaints to the airport commission’s attention.
“You keep saying all these people have contacted you, why have you not come and asked our side of it? You are listening to one side of it,” said Keith Bouldin.
“I have had a lot of communication with you Keith,” said Carl Bouldin.
Carl Bouldin said the committee will discuss this further at next month’s meeting and said he will ask Keith Bouldin why he does not want to serve on the advisory board because he did not understand.
“I can answer that,” said Keith. “I think your advisory board is a joke. I really do. I have been asked to serve on advisory boards for other things and I am not going to do it. Why would you do that? That director is going to do whatever he wants to if you are an advisory board. Right now, we give him items to do and if he doesn’t do them then we ask him at the next meeting why they didn’t get done and he answers to us. He is supposed to answer to us, Riley didn’t. If we are just advisory we are wasting our time.”
The proposed resolution was tabled and the committee will discuss it further at next month’s meeting.