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Airport Expansion Is Top Issue at Candidate Forum
the Worthington News (SNP), November 2, 2005

Airport expansion is top issue at candidate forum

By BRITTINY DUNLAP
Reprinted courtesy of the Worthington News/SNP 2005

The five candidates for Worthington City Council's four open seats had a chance to speak directly with residents Thursday night during a candidate forum.
John Butterfield, Courtney Chapman, Mike Duffey, Lou Goorey and Douglas Holmes opened the forum with one-minute personal statements followed by questions from the community.

The top issue brought up by residents was the proposed expansion of Ohio State University's airport. Candidates were asked to state their views on the expansion and whether or not they supported a Part 150 noise study, which must meet Federal Aviation Administration standards, and an environmental-impact study.

Chapman began his response by citing the mission of the airport, which includes the components of service, research and academics.

"As the community grew around (the airport) and the people demanded more service, the airport evolved," Chapman said.
He said he does support a Part 150 noise study and an environmental-impact study.

Duffey said he would like to see the university reach a mutual agreement with the surrounding areas.

"Many people know I initially helped organize residents to form the group that has become WOOSE," Duffey said. "I really believe the university has acted unilaterally without much community input."

Goorey said he wants the Part 150 noise study and an environmental-impact study. He outlined three current problems with the university's plans for expansion.

"First, they need to respond to the current level of noise intrusion," Goorey said. He also noted studying how traffic will be affected by the expansion and investigate further into the effects of a runway expansion.

Holmes, who first brought the proposed expansion to council, said he has been an advocate for increased review from the beginning.

"The university should not move into a corporate jet-traffic arena," Holmes said. "They need to assure the citizens of Worthington that they will not be adversely affected."

John Butterfield echoed the comments of other candidates.

"Most people agree there is a noise problem and it is only going to get worse with expansion," Butterfield said. "We need to work together to solve the problems."

One resident asked candidates if they sought out party endorsements. Butterfield, Chapman, Goorey and Holmes all said they did not seek a party endorsement nor did they have one.

"It is clear that this question is directed at me," said Duffey. "I received the endorsement of the Republican Party and I am not ashamed of it."
Duffey said he had the party's endorsement during his campaign for council two years ago and that no one questioned him.

"If we make party an issue, it will be," he said.

Duffey also mentioned that several candidates for council are listed on party Web sites and have hosted fundraising gatherings for members of their party.
The forum was hosted by the Franklin County Consortium for Good Government. Candidates for Worthington City Council, Sharon Township Board of Trustees, Municipal Court judge and Columbus City Council, as well as representatives from Worthington Public Libraries, were allotted time to speak.

Read more Central Ohio Community News at the Suburban News Publications Web site, SNPonline.com.

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