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Airport resolution ready for takeoff
County Commissioner Ron Lee says what the facility bills for its services is less than half of what other ambulance services charge.

The county Economic and Agricultural Development Committee finally agreed on a resolution establishing an Airport Commission and an office of director to send to the full Warren County Commission in August. 

At their meeting Tuesday night, a new draft of the resolution was presented that had some changes more people agreed with. Previously the resolution was going to do away with the Airport Commission and instead have an advisory board and have the airport director subordinate to the County Executive. 

The new resolution makes the airport director subordinate to the Airport Commission. This was a selling point for Commissioner Ron Lee. 

“I’ll be honest with you, my intentions were to come in here and probably not vote for this even though once the new commission was set I would be 100% behind it. But in Section 8 where you said the director shall be an employee of Warren County and be subordinate to the commission was my selling point. That would make me to tend toward supporting it,” said Lee.

Section 8 of the resolution states: “The Director shall be an employee of Warren County, Tennessee and shall be subordinate to the Commission. Discipline and/ or termination of the Director shall be a power of the Commission. The County Executive shall have the power to immediately place the Director on administrative leave at any point in time when the County Executive determines such action to be necessary in such an event the Commission shall meet as expeditiously as possible to determine the appropriate steps to take, if any, regarding the director.” 

Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin explained that county attorney Robert Bratcher recommended including the administrative leave portion. 

“If we were to have something like theft or something that was just grievous in nature we needed a quick way of suspending the director to keep him from going in and wiping out anything on the emails or covering up something or whatnot and have it where he could not come onto the airport property until the commission could meet. We are not saying that is going to happen,” said Bouldin. 

This resolution will also give the director full operational control and authority over the airport. There will be seven seats on the Airport Commission. The first will be the County Executive, the second is the chair of Budget and Finance, and the third will be a member from the Economic and Agricultural Committee The fourth and fifth seats require someone who is an active licensed pilot. The sixth and seventh seats require someone who is a licensed pilot, who might not necessarily be active. 

The resolution passed the committee unanimously and it will be sent to full Warren County Commission to be voted on at next month’s meeting. The committee then voted on nominations for the commission. Currently the first three seats would be County Executive Jimmy Haley, Commissioner Scott Rubley, and Commissioner Brad Hillis was nominated to represent the Econ and Ag Committee. 

The nominees for the remaining seats are Kevin Heusinkveld, Mike Corley, Ryan Blackford, and Jason Cripps.