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Restructuring may be in order for airport groups
The Worthington News (SNP), July 26, 2006

RESTRUCTURING MAY BE IN ORDER FOR TWO AIRPORT GROUPS


By LYNDSEY TETER
Reprinted courtesy of The Worthington News/SNP 2006

Although they formed less than a year ago, two neighborhood advisory groups to the Ohio State University Airport are looking a bit too similar to the dean who commissioned them.

William "Bud" Baeslack, dean of engineering, said at last week's joint meeting of the airport advisory board and noise committee that since their formation in December, the two groups hadn't become what he had envisioned.

"The two boards were created to be responsive to noise issues," Baeslack told the groups.

The noise committee was commissioned to get more into the technical nuts and bolts of the noise problems, while the advisory board would look at broader, more general issues.

"The committees started looking at a lot of the same issues and don't look as different as I'd hoped," he said, telling the groups their time was valuable and that his goal was to run more efficiently.
The speech prefaced a recommendation by Bill Habig, vice-chairman on both committees, who suggested the noise committee should be consolidated into the advisory board.

Baeslack asked Habig, a former director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, to re-evaluate the groups' structures and progress.

The advisory committee member would become the main member, and the noise committee representative would serve as as alternate, Habig said.

Bill Schuck, president of the Northwest Civic Association, asked what sort of capacity the alternative member would serve and Baeslack said airport officials will consider the comments and come forward with a more formal proposal.

"As we have gone on, I feel the committees roles have become less clear," and that there has been a failure to adhere the bodies to their original purpose," said Worthington advisory board representative Scott Whitlock.

"Agendas have been mushed together," said Kim Nixon Bell, a WOOSE representative on the noise committee. "We need to keep both boards and get them back on track."

Hoisting up one committee over the other is inappropriate, said noise committee member and Riverlea Mayor Mary Jo Cusack, who suggested that one committee retain all of 30-plus members.

Other representatives said the current structure is overkill.

"A smaller group can accomplish much more," said Angela Newland, Columbus Regional Airport Authority representative.

Others agreed, saying that the committee exercise was exploratory, and that members should be open to a smaller and better group.

In other news

Airport officials said necessary sensors had been installed and that the new noise tracking system would be in place for the first week of August.
Baeslack told the group he anticipates approval for a Part 150 noise study from university authorities that a newly-merged advisory board could begin serving in the planning capacity for the two- to three-year process.

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

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