Airport community members want to establish new airport committee

A group of citizens who make up the local community of Cairo Municipal Airport users has been meeting to formulate a plan which would allow them the opportunity to help make decisions concerning the future of the airport.
Using the organizational framework of the Donalsonville Airport as a model, the group has developed bylaws for the creation of the Cairo-Grady County Airport Committee and presented it to the Cairo City Council Monday night for its consideration.
Lawrence West, a member of the airport community, presented the proposed bylaws and asked for the council’s support of the new airport committee.
“We are petitioning you to allow us to form this committee to help make decisions. Here in Cairo, we are in a unique situation. We don’t know of any council members who fly. We don’t have local businessmen or companies that keep planes at the airport or fly. So we, as the airport community, would like to have input on decisions made regarding the airport,” West said.
The airport community member said he realized a vote would not be taken this week, but he was there to answer any questions the councilmen might have.
“We looked at several other airports and communities and the bylaws we have presented are almost an exact copy of Donalsonville’s. They more closely match our situation here. We have had several meetings at the airport to come up with this plan and the head of the Donalsonville committee came over and talked with us,” West said.
“I welcome the feedback from the users of the airport. I would love for them to be more actively involved in what goes on at the airport, and an airport committee is a good means to do that. The final decisions would still come through the city manager and city council, but they could help make plans and work with the airport consultant,” City Manager Chris Addleton said.
The city manager saluted the members of the airport community for looking at other models to base a local committee on.
“There are some things we will need to talk about, but this is a good starting point,” Addleton said.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas agreed with Addleton, and he also thanked the group for their work on the project.
Mayor Richard VanLandingham suggested the members of the council study the proposal and submit questions to the city manager prior to the council’s next meeting on Jan. 27. The mayor indicated a decision would be made at that meeting and that, prior to that, he and the city manager would meet with the airport users to go over changes the city proposed.
Citizens who have been involved in the development of the bylaws and the discussions about creating an airport committee include: Larry Prince, Mike Ferros, Larry Bible, Steven Bible, Gerren Prince, Sidney Gainey, Van Ponder, Fred Ingley, Chris Rudd, Mary Beth Rudd, Jeff Godwin, Henry Brown, Stan Otts, Larry Singletary, Jerry Prince, Mark Forry, Earl Stuckey, Debbie Carter, Gain Ernest and Lawrence West.

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