Lawmaker wants task force to examine airport board

Published:

HEBRON, Ky. (AP) -- A northern Kentucky lawmaker has proposed appointing a task force to review and possibly recommend changes to the structure of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport Board.

The Kentucky Enquirer (http://cin.ci/Pp64Bm) reports Rep. Addia Wuchner says she would like to see a group of state and local officials as well as citizens examine the structure of the board.

The idea comes on the heels of three members of the airport board stepping down, including the chairman and vice chairman.

That action came in February after months of turmoil at the agency including questions about spending that led to an investigation by the Kentucky State Auditor's office and controversy over personnel.

"It's time to look at this," said Wuchner, a Republican from Florence. "All the issues that have come forward have prompted more calls to my office than I've ever received on the airport before. Some feel we need to change the structure of the board, so it's prudent to collectively look at this."

The turmoil has prompted some leaders in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati to advocate for a change in the board structure.

Kenton County owns the airport and the county's top elected official, Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus, appoints the seven voting members of the board's executive committee. That structure has been in place since the 1940s, when the airport was built.

Arlinghaus responded to Wuchner's proposal by saying he was "disappointed" in it.

"It's like a lot of sharks smelling blood in the water," Arlinghaus said. "There are a lot of people trying to be opportunistic and grab control of the airport, but it belongs to the citizens of Kenton County -- let's make no doubt about that."

Any effort to change the board's structure would need approval from Kentucky lawmakers.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com