Advisory boards just offer advice
I think it is necessary to correct several of the statements made by my good friend, Dick Trail, about the relationship between the McCook Airport Advisory Board, and the McCook City Council.
Mr. Trail says that when the council appoints a commission such as the Airport Advisory Board, the council should totally accept their decisions, and then as a council not come to a different conclusion. One must remember that this advisory board is exactly that, a board that investigates the ramifications of the proposals put forward, and to then offer their advice in the form of a recommendation.
The council accepts their advice, and adds it to the other input they receive from the general public, their city staff people, and any other information made available to them. And from all of that information, they make their decision.
The council is elected by the people to make these decisions. For them to be forced to abide by the decision of this appointed board would mean they were shirking their duty as elected representatives. And, if I remember right, the recommendation from the advisory board was on a very narrow margin of one vote -- should the future of air service in McCook be decided by one-vote cast by an appointed advisory Board member? I think not.
Should we eliminate advisory boards for the city? Absolutely not. They provide valuable information to assist the council in their decision making. But they are advisory boards.
If the citizens of McCook want an Airport Governing Board, the necessary changes could be put on the ballot, and if passed, the citizens of McCook would elect the members of the new board, which would probably be called the McCook Airport Authority.
They would have total authority over the airport operations and funding, probably with the right to impose taxes on the population of our city to fund airport operations. I'm not sure that our airport operations are of such a size to merit a separate board. The present system will work very well -- the Advisory Board offering valuable information to the Council, and the Council uses that information in their decision making.