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woose.org: Media - Airport advisory groups' merger may increase efficiency
Airport advisory groups' merger may increase efficiency
The Worthington News (SNP), August 30, 2006


Reprinted courtesy of The Worthington News/SNP 2006

Details of the pending merger of two community airport advisory groups are more clear after Thursday's joint meeting.

Formed in December, the Airport Advisory Board and Noise Committee each comprise representatives from 20 different community groups, including neighboring municipalities, townships and regional organizations.

The groups -- with more than 30 members combined -- serve in an advisory capacity to William "Bud" Baeslack, dean of the college of engineering, who said he hopes a more efficient operation will come out of the merger.
"It was really an experiment on my part," Baeslack said of the creation of two groups last year.

As the process has moved forward, "there has been significant overlap in the missions of the groups."

The newly merged airport advisory group plans to meet every other month instead of monthly.

However, group members should be open to the possibility of additional meetings, Baeslack said.

Each appointing authority will choose a representative and an alternate to serve. The primary representative can be plucked from either group, said Bill Habig, former president of MORPC, who helped the dean sort out the details of the merger.

Following questions from the advisory groups, the role of alternates was carved out as well. Alternates can sit at the table and vote when primary members are absent. Otherwise, they will be given a chance to speak prior to the public comment portion of the meeting only, Habig said.

Beginning in October, meetings will be held the second Thursday of every other month.

Meeting agendas, minutes and related material are expected to be posted on the airport Web site, osuairport.org.

"An overwhelming majority of representatives were in favor of the move," Habig said.

Members spoke Thursday in favor of the move, which they said would allow for more efficient committee work.

A critic of the proposal was Riverlea Mayor Mary Jo Cusack.

"This is not a merger, this is an abolishment of a committee," said Cusack, charging that the university was trying to phase out the advisory groups.

The university in no way intends to abolish the groups it established, Baeslack said.

"This is simply a merger of the mission," he said.

Jane Weislogel, vice president of WOOSE, said the groups had met just three times individually since their formationThe groups didn't have a fair chance to develop separate missions because of it, she said.

It is unknown at this point whether the groups will meet in September, said Cathy Ferrari, external relations for the airport.

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

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