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Augusta Aviation Commission splits on new chairman

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported aspects of the nomination process.

The governing board for Augusta Regional Airport failed to elect a new chairman Tuesday after a tie vote could not be broken.

The 12-member Augusta Avia­tion Commission split its vote to elect either Lowell Dorn or Cedric Johnson, both standing members of the commission.

The commission’s lawyer determined its charter did not include rules for breaking a tie and that Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who serves as the ex-officio commission member, did not have authority to do so.

Dorn, a seven-year veteran of the commission, was chosen by a special nominating committee earlier this month. Johnson was nominated by commission member Paulette Curry during Tuesday’s meeting. He has served on the commission since 1998 and was chairman from 2003 through 2008 during the construction of a commercial terminal.

“This is very disappointing in my opinion. We had due process with balanced representation.” Chairman Jay Forrester said. “There was ample opportunity for everyone who wanted to serve to throw their name into the ring, and no one did but one person.”

Curry said she was not at the committee meeting to nominate Johnson because the meeting time was scheduled without regard to when she was available. She said she sent an e-mail notifying the four-person committee of her schedule.

The committee’s chairman, Randy Sasser, said Curry did not respond to his e-mails or phone calls to see whether she could make the meeting.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Kellie Kenner-McIntyre, Richmond County’s next solicitor general, was elected vice chairwoman after being nominated by the committee. 

The commission will revisit the chairman issue in January. Its current officers will remain in place and Forrester will remain chairman.

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just an opinion
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just an opinion 12/19/12 - 12:14 am
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What's this all about?

Can someone inform us?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/19/12 - 08:32 am
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It sounds like some kind of

It sounds like some kind of division along....LINES. I know who knows and will wait for his comment. If Columbia would only build an airport closer to Augusta along I-20 we could save hundreds of millions.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/19/12 - 12:28 pm
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Silver Dollar

This taxpayer paid lawyer is giving bad advice. There is a time-honored tradition (probably dating way back to English common law) on how to break ties. You flip a coin.

Doug Lively
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Doug Lively 12/19/12 - 01:13 pm
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Much Ado

About Nothing! During the nominating process the entire commission was polled as to individual interest in Chair or Vice Chair. Only two members responded with interest, Mr. Lowell Dorn and Ms. Kelly McIntyre. A quorum of 3 of 4 nominating committee members voted to move forward with that slate.

Evidently some on the commission have a problem with Mr. Dorn. I will not speculate as to why.As a result a nomination made from the floor was made for Mr. Johnson to be chair with Ms. McIntye as Vice Chair.

The fact is, either candidate would be an excellent choice. Mr. Johnson, having served before as Chair and being a longstanding commission member, has exhibited excellent leadership over the years on this, as well as other boards. Mr. Dorn is likewise a very diligent leader, having spearheaded the Executive search committee which selected out Executive Director. His love for avianics and the fact that he is a pilotwould make him an excellent choice.

So these things need to gel out sometimes. I am sure it will work out in the end. In the meantime, Mr. Jay Forrester will continue to serve as an effective Chairman of the Commission.

But Riverman1, why would you wish for an airport out of Columbia? Augusta Regional is one of the finest Airports in the Southeast with service to Atlanta's Hartfield, Charlotte and direct flights to Washington D.C. AGS is self funded as an Enterprise and has made major Capital improvements to enhance the flying experience.

Augusta Regional Airport plays a vital role in supporting the region with 1,561 jobs with an annual payroll of $59,016,500 and $269,632,600 in economic output for the local and regional economies.
(Georgia Airports Mean Business 2011 Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study by Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT. This study was conducted fully by the GDOT in April 2012.)

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